Diana and Cupid

Pompeo Batoni Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 627

Sir Humphrey Morice (1723–1785), son of a wealthy merchant and director of the Bank of England, commissioned this image of the goddess of hunting. It hung as a pendant, or companion piece, to Batoni’s portrait of Morice re-clining in the Roman countryside next to his dogs, rifle, and dead game. Together, the works contrast modern and ancient Rome in the manner of Giovanni Paolo Panini’s two canvases found nearby. Diana’s distinctive pose is based on a famous ancient statue of the sleeping Cretan princess Ariadne. Batoni inserts a literal tension into this otherwise staid composition with the elegantly lifted bow, which Diana withholds from Cupid.

#5096. Diana and Cupid

Diana and Cupid, Pompeo Batoni (Italian, Lucca 1708–1787 Rome), Oil on canvas

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