by Liliana Barroeropag. 56, format 20,5×23,5, ill. col., ita-ing, 2022
Two singular works, luminous and vivid in a way that invites the viewer to observe closely, to examine the particulars. These two paintings, recently added to the collection of the Cassa di Risparmio Foundation, are now available to the public—to the citizens of Lucca and to all lovers of art. This important occasion reunites Lucca with two remarkable works of art that are representative of the oeuvre of the most masterful painter Lucca ever produced. Originally commissioned for a family in Lucca, Batoni’s Prometheus and Atalanta are a profoundly significant testimony to the artist’s talent and to his ability to foray into widely varied and highly sophisticated themes.
We may know Batoni first and foremost as a portraitist, a genre that ordained him as the most requested portrait painter of 18th-century Rome, but his commissions, particularly those originating in his birthplace, Lucca, tell us a great deal about this artist of perpendicular interests who made excellent and original use of his long years of study in Rome. These two canvases mark a crucial moment in Batoni’s early maturity as a painter. What is more, they tell us the story of a man deeply connected to his home, a city he had always and would always love and a source of noteworthy patrons.