Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn (1749-1789), Thomas Apperley (1734-1819) and Captain Edward Hamilton
BATONI, Pompeo (1707 - 1787)
Media: oil on canvas
Size: 289.0 x 196.0 cm
Acquired: 1947; Purchase
Accession Number: NMW A 78
Collection: The Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn Collection
Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn set out on his Grand Tour in June 1768. He was accompanied by Edward Hamilton, a cavalry officer and amateur musician, and Thomas Apperley of Plas Grono, near Wrexham, his 'governor' who had been with him at Oxford. After visiting Paris and Florence the party arrived in Rome in November, where Sir Watkin ordered history paintings from Anton Raphael Mengs and Pompeo Batoni. He also commissioned this portrait from Batoni, who was the most celebrated painter in the city. His work was particularly appreciated by British notables, and this is his finest 'Grand Tour' portrait. Sir Watkin stands on the left holding a crayon and a copy of a Raphael fresco. At the table, Apperley draws his patron's attention to a passage from Dante's Divine Comedy. Hamilton, a flute in his hand, gestures admiringly to Apperley's display of erudition. An allegorical statue of Painting, located in the niche behind, emphasises the three men's love of the arts. From Rome Sir Watkin went to Naples, before returning home via Venice in February 1769. During his lifetime, this painting hung at his London residence, Wynn House, St James Square.