Lord Archibald Hamilton

Pompeo Batoni, 1708 - 1787

Lord Archibald Hamilton

Pompeo Batoni 1708 - 1787


In this half-length portrait by Batoni, Lord Archibald Hamilton is depicted holding a map of Italy, indicating his presence there on the Grand Tour. His left arm rests on four books, two of which are inscribed on the spine: Wright's Travels and Kennet's Antiques/Antiquities, which refer to his broad itinerary and desire to augment his classical education. Further evidence of his learning and culture are visible in the bust of Diana and the scroll of a cello, or viola da gamba, in the background. Archibald was the eldest son of the 5th Duke of Hamilton by his third wife. He became the 9th Duke of Hamilton and 6th Duke of Brandon. Pompeo Batoni was born in Lucca and worked first with his father, a goldsmith. He moved to Rome in 1727, where he was apprenticed first to Francesco Fernandi, called Imperiali (1679-1740), then to Sebastiano Conca (c. 1680-1764) and Agostino Masucci (1691-1758). He had many commissions for altarpieces, and for religious, historical, mythological and allegorical paintings, although he remains best known as a portraitist, notably for his numerous portraits of Grand Tourists in Rome.

Display Label

Lord Archibald Hamilton 1760 – 65 Pompeo Batoni 1708 – 87 Oil on canvas With this painting Batoni flaunts his skill in painting fabrics, contrasting the soft white fur against the blue velvet. The aristocrat’s fleshy hands languidly unroll a map, which may reveal his itinerary: ‘ADRIATIC’ and ‘SARDINIA’ are legible. Other hints at the sitter’s broad cultural horizons include a bust of the Roman goddess Diana, a stack of travel guidebooks, and the head of a viol. A glance back at Manchester’s other portrait of a Grand Tourist by Batoni (on the wall to your left) reveals a similar use of props. Batoni shuffled ruins, maps, books and busts behind his sitters, using this compositional vocabulary with suave assurance in up to 12 portraits a year. 1984.779

Object Name

Lord Archibald Hamilton

Creators Name

Pompeo Batoni

Date Created

1760-1765 (circa)


unframed: 75.6cm x 70.8cm
framed: 93.2cm x 80.5cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint




© Manchester Art Gallery

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