BATONI, Pompeo
(b. 1708, Lucca, d. 1787, Roma)

The Marriage of Cupid and Psyche

Oil on canvas, 183 x 118 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Best known and last of Rome's leading eighteenth-century painters was Pompeo Batoni. Curator of papal collections, he was extensively patronized by Grand Tourists. An assured portraitist, Batoni proved equally at home with mythological and biblical subjects, giving them a porcelain-like finish. His Marriage of Cupid and Psyche - in which the torch-bearing Hymen, god of marriage, arranges for the exchange of rings in the presence of Venus and Zephyr - presents a sleek pictorial solution to mythological subject matter.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 4 minutes):
Francesco Gasparini: The Meddlesome Cupid, aria