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Pompeo Batoni

Truth and Mercy


Pompeo Batoni
Lucca, Italy, 1708 – Rome 1787


Truth and Mercy


About 1745


Oil on canvas


120 x 90 cm


Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, special replacement fund and gift of Mr. and Mrs. Neil B. Ivory, inv. 1979.20


Western Art

Forerunner of Neo-Classicism, Batoni was nineteen years old when he travelled to Rome, where he immersed himself in the great heritage of Roman paintings and sculptures, from antiquities to the art of Raphael, Carracci and Poussin. These paintings are early examples of his grand-scale allegorical work. They are autograph enlarged replicas of a pair at the Pannonhalma Benedictine Abbey, Hungary, dated 1745. Our pictures were commissioned by Count Cesare Merenda for the gallery he had created at Forlì. The subjects of the pendant paintings derive from Psalm “Steadfast love and faithfulness [Mercy and Truth] will meet; righteousness [Justice] and peace will kiss each other.” Friend of the famous theoretician of noeclassism Winckelmann, Batoni welcomed to his popular workshop amateurs and English aristocrats who came for the Grand Tour.

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