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Sir Gregory Page-Turner
painting

Batoni, Pompeo
Europe, Italy, Rome
1768

1976.79
First floor: 18th Century

oil paint
134.5 x 99.5 cm

More Details

Sir Gregory Page-Turner 1768
Pompeo Batoni 1708-1805
Oil on canvas

Shortly before this portrait was painted in Rome
the 20-year-old sitter had succeeded his father's title
and inherited his great uncle's fortune.
His Grand Tour was lavish and comprehensive.

Page-Turner's elegant taste is shown by his red silk suit,
while his swaggering pose is based on classical art.
A map of Rome and a view of the Colosseum
confirm his knowledgeable presence in the city.
The bust of Minerva is a studio prop
which appears in at least four other portraits by Batoni.

Batoni was the most successful Grand-Tour portraitist.
By the time this example was painted
he was struggling to keep up with demand.
This was perhaps partly due to his very low rates,
which were much cheaper than those of British artists.

While portraiture was of low artistic status in Italy,
artists willingly painted the portraits of tourists:
75% of Batoni's customers were British or Irish.

Purchased 1976.79