Portrait of Leon

Studying the French Rococo, Bolognese classicism, and nascent Neoclassicism, I’ve found a never-ending source of inspiration in works of Pompeo Batoni. After persuading my husband Leon to pose and creating the „aristocratic“ costume, using materials and fabrics, that i could find at home, I began to paint… Step by step I painted accurately the smallest details, trying to imitate the artists‘ works of that times. I’ve chosen the neutral background to accentuate the light on the face, lace and golden shine on the buttons.

Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (25 January 1708 – 4 February 1787) was an Italian painter whose style incorporated elements of the French Rococo, Bolognese classicism, and nascent Neoclassicism. Batoni aimed at overcoming the excesses and frivolities of the Rococo by taking inspiration in classical antiquity and in the work of artists such as Nicolas Poussin, and especially Raphael. As such he was a precursor of Neoclassicism.

Batoni became a highly-fashionable painter in Rome, particularly after his rival, the proto-neoclassicist Anton Raphael Mengs, departed for Spain in 1761. Batoni befriended Winckelmann and, like him, aimed in his painting to the restrained classicism of painters from earlier centuries, such as Raphael and Poussin, rather than to the work of the Venetian artists then in vogue. Commenting on Batoni, the art historians Boni and de Rossi said of Batoni and Mengs the other prominent painter in Rome during the second half of the 18th-century, that Mengs was made painter by philosophy: Batoni by nature…(Batoni) was more painter than philosopher, (Mengs) more philosopher than painter. In 1741, he was inducted into the Accademia di San Luca.

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