Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (1708-87) was born in Lucca, Italy and lived in Rome until his death. He married twice and had twelve children. Initially Batoni was noticed for his drawings of antique sculptures in the Vatican collections, but his fame blossomed as a portrait painter of British gentlemen on the Grand Tour, a rite of passage trip around Europe popular among upper class European men from about 1660 to 1840.
For nearly 50 years, Batoni brought freshness to the Grand Tour style with his precise draftsmanship and clever settings. He had sitters pose in the open-air before a classical building and surrounded by famous statues and antiques. As a painter, Batoni was influenced by France's late Baroque period, Bolognese classicism, and the rise of Neoclassicism in his work.