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Pompeo Batoni, 1708–1787
Portrait of a Woman, traditionally identified as Margaret Stuart, Lady Hippisley
Former Title(s):
An Unknown Woman, Called Lady Hippisley, signed and dated 1785
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
29 1/2 x 25 inches (74.9 x 63.5 cm)

Signed and dated in ocher-color paint, left center: "POMPEO : DE | BATONI PINX. | ROMA 1785" [possibly later addition]

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
costume | Grand Tour | oval | portrait | shawls | woman
Associated People:
Stuart, Margaret
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

This is one of Pompeo Batoni’s most engaging female portraits, painted at the end of his career. The identity of the sitter has long since been lost, although she was evidently in Rome in 1785. The composition and pointed gaze suggest that this portrait was once accompanied by a companion painting, perhaps a portrait of her husband. Although her clothes and hair reflect the very latest fashions, Batoni has given her a veil and pose reminiscent of ancient Roman sculptures of the Vestal Virgins, a subtle allusion to the virtue of chastity.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Pompeo Batoni (Colnaghi) (Colnaghi (NY), 1982-11-16 - 1982-12-18) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Liliana Barroero, Pompeo Batoni 1708-1787, l'Europa delle corti e il Grand Tour , Silvana Editoriale, Milano, 2008, pp. 316-17, fig. 62, NJ18 B297P65 2008+ (YCBA) [YCBA]

Edgar Peters Bowron, Pompeo Batoni : a complete catalogue of his paintings, Yale University Press, 2016, vol. 2, pp. 605-06, no 476, fig. 476, NJ18.B68 2016 Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

British Art at Yale, Apollo, v.105, April 1977, pp. 248-9, fig. 23, N1 .A54 + OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 20-21, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ellis Waterhouse, An Impressive Panorama of British Portraiture, Apollo, v. 105, no. 182, April 1977, pp. 248-9, fig. 23, N1 A54 + (YCBA) Another copy of this article may be found in a separately bound and catalogued copy of this issue located on the Mellon Shelf [call number : N5220 M552 A7 1977 + (YCBA)] [YCBA]

Yale Center for British Art, Selected paintings, drawings & books, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1977, p. 35, N590.2 A82 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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