Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (Lucca 1708 – Rome 1787)
This founding figure of the Christian Church is from a group of eight pictures now in the Iliffe Collection, that comes from a set of twelve pictures of God the Father and the Apostles, originally painted for the town palace of Count Cesare and Fra Giuseppe Merenda in Forlí. They were Batoni's most dedicated patrons, commissioning at least 32 paintings from him between about 1740 and 1750. St. Peter holds a book, to symbolise his Epistles, and keys symbolic of the powers that Christ gave him to bind and unloose. The cock beside him stands for the one that crowed after he had denied Christ thrice.
Oil painting on canvas, Saint Peter by Pompeo Batoni (1708-87), 1740-43. Three-quarter length, turned to his right, eyes upwards, behind table on which left elbow rests and on which lies a book held by right arm, and two keys. Head with grey hair and beard rests in left hand. Blue tunic with brown cloak. Profile of cockerel at right. Part of set with NT/BAS/P/12,14,15,17-20.
Commissioned by Count Cesare (1700-1754) and Fra Giuseppe (1687-1760) Merenda, for the picture-gallery of the Palazzo Merenda, Forlì, c.1740-43; there till 1945; Villa Merenda - Salecchi, nr. Forlì, till 1959, when sold (probably via M. & C. Sestieri, Rome) to the dealer Julius Weitzner, London; with P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London, 1959-60; by whom sold in 1960 to Lord & Lady Iliffe; by whom presented to the National Trust, together with the house and grounds of Basildon Park, and a substantial part of their collection of paintings, in 1979
Basildon Park, The Iliffe Collection (National Trust)
Makers and roles
Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (Lucca 1708 – Rome 1787), artist
In Trust for the Nation, National Gallery, London, 1995 - 1996, no.54a
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. 83 Russell 1981 Francis Russell, 'Batoni at Basildon Park', National Trust Studies 1981, pp.35 - 42