Pompeo Batoni (Lucca 1708-1787 Rome)
Pompeo Batoni (Lucca 1708-1787 Rome)
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The Property of the Trustees of the 6th Earl of Arran’s Will Trust
Pompeo Batoni (Lucca 1708-1787 Rome)

Group portrait of the Hon. Arthur Saunders Gore, Viscount Sudley, later 2nd Earl of Arran (1734-1809), and his wife Catherine, née Annesley (1739-1770), with their son (?), Arthur Saunders Gore, later 3rd Earl of Arran (1761-1837), as Cupid, three-quarter-length

Pompeo Batoni (Lucca 1708-1787 Rome)
Group portrait of the Hon. Arthur Saunders Gore, Viscount Sudley, later 2nd Earl of Arran (1734-1809), and his wife Catherine, née Annesley (1739-1770), with their son (?), Arthur Saunders Gore, later 3rd Earl of Arran (1761-1837), as Cupid, three-quarter-length
signed and dated 'POMPEIVUS BATONI PINXIT ROMÆ 1769' (lower right, on the hem of Catherine's shawl)
oil on canvas
44 7/8 x 34 in. (113.8 x 86.3 cm.)
By descent in the sitter’s family.
E. Waterhouse, 'London: Batoni at Kenwood (exhibition review)', Burlington Magazine, CXXIV, August 1982, p. 517.
A.M. Clark & E.P. Bowron, Pompeo Batoni: A Complete Catalogue of His Works with an Introductory Text, London, 1985, p. 318, no. 335, pl. 306.
B. Ford & J. Ingamells, A Dictionary of British and Irish travellers in Italy, 1701-1800, New Haven and London, 1997, p. 412, as 'the Hon. Paul or Hon. Richard Gore'.
M.D. McInnis, ‘Cultural Politics, Colonial Crisis, and Ancient Metaphor in John Singleton Copley's 'Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Izard'’, Winterthur Portfolio, XXXIV, 1999, p. 92.
E.P. Bowron and P.B. Kerber, Pompeo Batoni: Prince of Painters in Eighteenth-Century Rome, exhibition catalogue, Houston Museum of Arts, 2007, p. 74, fig. 70.
F. Centurione Scotto Boschieri, Un Tea con Batoni: Curiosità, dimore e collezioni degli inglesi del Grand Tour, Lucca, 2008, pp. 122-3.
F. Petrucci, Pittura di Ritratto a Roma: Il Settecento, Rome, 2010, II, p. 406, fig. 99.
E.P. Bowron, Pompeo Batoni: A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings, New Haven and London, 2016, II, pp. 426-7, no. 340.

London, Kenwood, Pompeo Batoni (1708-97) and his British Patrons, 8 June-30 August 1982, no. 30.
London, The National Gallery, Pompeo Batoni, Prince of Painters in Eighteenth-Century Rome, 20 February- 18 May 2008, no. 68.

Lot Essay

Of the nearly two hundred portraits of British travellers in Rome painted by Pompeo Batoni, only seventeen depict women and only one, the present work, shows a husband and wife together. Executed in 1769, when the artist was working at the height of his powers, this engaging portrait of Arthur Gore, Viscount Sudley and his wife Catherine is a fitting testament of Batoni’s enduring popularity amongst wealthy Grand Tourists visiting Italy during the eighteenth century.

Batoni signed and dated this work ‘1769’ on the hem of Catherine’s shawl, which is the same year that he was working on the prestigious commission of a double portrait of Emperor Joseph II and his brother Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany (fig. 1; Vienna, Kunsthistoriches Museum, acc. no. GG.1628). Indeed, the stance of Viscount Sudley in this portrait compares quite closely with that of the Grand Duke’s.

Arthur Gore, the son of an Irish peer, had married his first wife, Catherine Annesley, daughter of William, 1st Viscount Glerawly, in 1760. The couple embarked on a Grand Tour together in the late 1760s, with Gore being listed in the Gazzetta Toscana on 10 January 1767 amongst those who had recently arrived in Florence. Later that month, on 24 January, Sir Horace Mann (1706-1786), a diplomat and long-standing British ex-patriot in Florence, wrote to his friend and frequent correspondent Horace Walpole that he had presented ‘Mr Gore, Lord Arran’s son’ at the Florentine Court, where Gore had been invited to dinner by Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor, the ‘Great Duke’ (W.S. Lewis, W.H. Smith & G.L. Lam, eds., Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Sir Horace Mann, New Haven & London, 1960, p. 482). That Gore’s wife accompanied her husband is known through the praise lauded on her by Anna, Lady Miller (1741-1781). In her Letters from Italy, Lady Miller recorded several anecdotes told to the author by her guide at Naples which were ‘much to [Lady Sudley’s] honour. This lady’s humanity, generosity, and every virtue, joined to a refined understanding, a most liberal education, and an elegant person, has made such an impression upon the hearts of the Neapolitans…that whenever she is mentioned, they with great difficulty restrain their tears; a grateful tribute to her memory in a foreign country!’ (A. Miller, Letters from Italy, Describing the Manners, Customs, Antiquities, Paintings . of that Country, London, 1777, II, p. 350). The couple had evidently reached Rome by 1769 when they commissioned Batoni to paint their joint portrait.

While the likeness of Gore clearly relied on first-hand observation of the sitter, his wife’s features are more generalised and, in contrast to her husband’s overtly contemporary dress, she is wrapped loosely in classicising drapery. The classicising elements of her dress and the inclusion of the lively figure of Cupid, who has sometimes been identified as the couple’s eldest son, Arthur Saunders Gore (1761-1837), more likely indicate that the painting was intended as an allegorical representation of Love, in the form of the couple’s son, binding husband and wife together.

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