Study of head and hands for Saint Peter for the painting painted in 1757 representing Benedict XIV presenting the encyclical 'Ex Omnibus' to the Comte de Stainville future Duc de Choiseul (Minneapolis, Institute of Arts).
Commissioned to Pompeo Batoni by Cardinal Domenico Orsini who wished to offer it to the Pope, the painting depicting Benedict XIV presenting the encyclical "Ex omnibus" to the Count of Stainville was completed in 1757. This painting, emblematic of the artist reigning over the Roman painting in the mid-eighteenth century, is currently preserved at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Our drawing is preparatory for the character of Saint Peter appearing at the top right of the composition alongside St. Paul. Besides the physiognomy one can recognize the right hand holding the book and the left, in support, holding the keys.
The technique of black chalk enhanced with white chalk on a prepared paper color typical of the artist perfectly highlights the extraordinary quality of the drawing pushed to a remarkable degree of finish. The Museum of Fine Arts in Besançon retains a famous sheet depicting a magnificent woman's head depicting the Religion found on the left of the same composition.
Comparative Bibliography: E. P. Bowron, Pompeo Batoni, Complete catalog of his paintings, Yale 2016
E. P. Bowron and J. J. Rishel, Art in Rome in the eighteenth century, Philadelphia Museum of Art; London: Merrel 2000, n. 168; C. Legrand and D. d'Ormesson-Peugeot, The baroque Rome of Maratti at Piranese, RMN, Paris 1991, pp. 132-133
Price : on request