The art of the 18th century is influenced by a new fashion: THE GRAND TOUR.
The English aristocracy travelled to Italy to further their education. The traveller’s demand for "souvenirs" gave rise to a new type of painting that showed prospects of cities, scenes of street life, ancient buildings, and picturesque ruins.
The practitioners of the genre included Francesco Guardi, who specialised in Venice scenes, and Giovanni Paolo Pannini, who excelled at painting variations on Rome’s ancient ruins such as the Colosseum.
Just as present-day tourists will have their photographs taken in front of famous sights, the new Grand Tour clientele wanted portraits where ancient architecture served as the backdrop.
The painter Pompeo Batoni could almost have abandoned his career as a history painter as English customers continued to flock to him. His clients included John Rolle Walter and Peter Beckford, whose portraits are on display in this room.