(b. 1708, Lucca, d. 1787, Roma)
Susanna and the Elders1751
Oil on canvas, 99 x 136 cm
The present Susanna and the Elders is a testament to Batoni's considerable stature: he was the dominant painter in Rome in the middle years of the 18th century. His contemporaries recognized this preeminence, a position which Batoni maintained for a period of nearly fifty years. The canvas was painted by the artist in 1751 for Ernst Guido, Graf von Harrach, one of the most important collectors of the day, and remained in the family's collection for nearly 250 years. The Susanna and the Elders is inarguably one of Batoni's finest history pictures and one of his very few treatments of an Old Testament subject.