Guilty Pleasures


Original Artwork Information
Artist: Pompeo Batoni
Title: Portrait of Thomas Dundas
Date: c. 1764

"Thomas Dundas poses like a dancer in Pompeo Batoni's portrait, an elegant leg resting casually on a masterpiece of classical sculpture. He gestures towards the recumbent Vatican Ariadne, while in the courtyard behind him we can see the Apollo Belvedere, the Laocoön and Antinous - when this was painted in about 1764, they were the most famous works of art in the world. The scene is the Belvedere courtyard of the Vatican, and this painting of a Briton abroad records a cultural obsession with Rome that has inspired some of the greatest British works of art."

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