Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (Italian, Roman, 17081787)
Oil on canvas; 97 1/8 x 69 1/4 in. (246.7 x 175.9 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1903 (03.37.1)
The leading Italian painter of eighteenth-century Rome, Batoni was especially admired by foreigners as a portraitist. The sitter of this picture has not been identified, but he may be French. He is shown with some of Batoni's favorite Grand Tour props: an ancient bas-relief of Antinous, a statue of Minerva, an armillary sphere, guidebooks to ancient and modern Rome, a volume of painters' biographies, and the second part of Homer's Odyssey. A half-length portrait of the same man by Batoni is in the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence.