About the Image:
The Fall of Simon Magus is a late-Baroque painting by Pompeo Batoni, originally intended as the basis for a mosaic altarpiece in the Basilica of St Peter1. The painting is likely a studio copy of the original, which was displayed in the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Rome12. The painting is oil on canvas and measures 183 cm × 108 cm (72 in × 43 in) 1. The painting depicts the fall of Simon Magus, a sorcerer who was confounded by the prayers of Peter and fell to his death in front of the emperor Nero1. The painting is available as an art print, fine art reproduction, and canvas print6. The painting is displayed in various galleries, including the Cleveland Museum of Art12.
About the Artist:
Pompeo Girolamo Batoni was an Italian painter who displayed a solid technical knowledge in his portrait work and in his numerous allegorical and mythological pictures. The high number of foreign visitors travelling throughout Italy and reaching Rome during their "Grand Tour" led the artist to specialize in portraits. Batoni won international fame largely thanks to his customers, mostly British of noble origin, whom he portrayed, often with famous Italian landscapes in the background. Such Grand Tour portraits by Batoni were in British private collections, thus ensuring the genre's popularity in Great Britain. One generation later, Sir Joshua Reynolds would take up this tradition and become the leading English portrait painter. Although Batoni was considered the best Italian painter of his time, contemporary chronicles mention his rivalry with Anton Raphael Mengs.