Batoni, Pompeo Girolama (Lucca 1708 – Rome 1787). Magdalen. Lying before rock scenery and reading in a book. The hair open, one breast denuded. The book supported by a skull. Between the teeth of this the ear of some grass as symbol of hope. At the outer left the chalice. Steel engraving by William French (c. 1815 – East Grinstead 1898). 3rd quarter of the 19th century. Inscribed: Dresdener Galerie / G. Batoni pinxt. / W. French sc., otherwise as above. 5¾ × 7⅛ in (14.7 × 18 cm).
“ This training (as goldsmith) formed in Batoni a feeling for delicacy, precision, and ‘ornamental elegance’ (Clark) that distinguished his style as painter. (May his) orientation at Raffael and the seicento classicism (have been) over-emphasized, it is justified to say that B.s interest for the early Roman painting lead him to a classicist style of individual character ”
(Cinzia Maria Sicca, Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon VII, 1993, 470).
Both the two attributes book + death’s-head already combined by El Greco (1541-1614), but likewise by Batoni’s contemporary Ridinger (1698-1767) in his “Magdalen”.
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– Magdalena. The same, but in steel engraving by D. J. Pound (England about 1859/60). 3rd quarter of the 19th century. Inscribed: G. Battoni pinxt. / D. J. Pound sc. 5¾ × 7¼ in (14.6 × 18.3 cm).
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