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Meekness

Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (Lucca 1708 – Rome 1787)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

1752

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

99 x 74 cm (39 x 29 in)

Place of origin

Rome

Order this image

Collection

Uppark House and Garden, West Sussex (Accredited Museum)

NT 138294

Caption

This is an allegorical representation of one of the eight Beatitudes, from the Sermon on the Mount. It and its companion were commissioned in Rome by Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh of Uppark, when on the Grand Tour with his wife and some of their relatives. The idea may have come from one of them, his clergyman brother, Utrick, subsequently Rector of Harting. "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" is symbolised by a woman gazing gently at the lamb she holds on her lap. This animal is the traditional symbol of that virtue, but also implies an allusion to Christ as the Lamb of God.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, Meekness by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (Lucca 1708 – Rome 1787), 1752. One of Batoni's most exquisite works. A young woman cradling a lamb traditionally personifies the third Beatitude from the Sermon on the Mount - 'Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:4) and the source is decribed in Cesare Ripa's Iconologia (1618) as La mansuetudine. With its pendant, Purity of Heart (NT 138295, perhaps commissioned by, or given to, Sir Matthew's brother, the Reverend Utrick Fetherstonhaugh, who was a member of the party in Rome. There is an autograph replica in a Private collection, Rome.

Provenance

Possibly commissioned by the Reverend Utrick Fetherstonhaugh, or for him by his elder brother, Sir Matthew; ? on his death without issue left back to the 2nd Bt.?; early 19th-century hanging-plans, in the Saloon: “8. Love (a Portrait) Pompeo Battoni” [upper register, to left of chimneypiece, with George III as an overmantel]; [not cleaned by H. R. Bolton in 1849]; 1874 inventory, in the Saloon, as one of: “2 Paintings Love & Innocence”; thence by inheritance and descent until bought from the family in 1976.

Credit line

Uppark, The Fetherstonhaugh Collection (National Trust)

Makers and roles

Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (Lucca 1708 – Rome 1787), artist

Exhibition history

In Trust for the Nation, National Gallery, London, 1995 - 1996, no.55b

References

Pompeo Batoni and his British Patrons, exh. cat. (listed by Edgar Peters Bowron & Francis Russell), Kenwood House, Hampstead, London 8 June - 30 August, 1982, pp.19–20 with fig.11, & p.78 Clark and Bowron 1985 Anthony M. Clark & Edgar Peters Bowron (ed.), Pompeo Batoni A Complete Catalogue of his Works with an Introductory Text, Oxford 1985, no.168, p.256 & pl.158

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