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POMPEO BATONI
Italian, 1708 - 1787
Academic Nude
1765
Charcoal heightened with black and white chalk on blue-grey paper

21 1/4 x 15 9/16 inches (54 x 39.5 cm)

 
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Rienzi Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harris Masterson III

 
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The extreme detail and polish of this signed drawing confirms that it is not the common product of a day's preparations in the studio but is instead a demonstration piece—a virtuoso example of the artist's skill as a draftsman.

Pompeo Batoni's achievements as a draftsman are less well known today than his religious and mythological paintings or his many portraits of foreign visitors to Rome and on their Grand Tour of Italy. But Batoni was famous among his contemporaries for his ability to draw, and his drawings today are equally highly esteemed.