Subleyras Pierre

Subleyras Pierre

Saint-Gilles-du-Gard, 1699 ; Rome, 1749.

Winner of the Rome Prize, he spent most of his life in this town. A protégé of the Pope and forerunner of neoclassicism, he tried his hand at all genres.

Portrait of Pope Benedict XIV

Oil on canvas; 125 cm x 98 cm.

Painted late1740 or early 1741, shortly after the sitter's accession to the papal throne. Given to the Sorbonne by the Pope "as a measure of his esteem" in 1757. Confiscated during the Revolution. Alexandre Lenoir Collection (1838). Duke of Sutherland Collection, Stafford House (1876). Duke of Aumale Donation to the Institute in 1886 (actual entry in 1897, no loans or deposits permitted).

Numerous replicas of this portrait exist, including one currently at the Musée de Versailles, a previous gift to the Royal Academy made by Cochin.

From 1740-1758, Prospero Lambertini (1675-1758) was the 245th Pope and took the name of Benedict XIV. He recognised the kingdom of Prussia, had Galileo and Copernicus removed from the Index and corresponded with members of the scientific world.

Chantilly, Musée Condé (inv. ndeg. 384).

(C) Copyright Direction des Musées de France, 1994. Photo Lauros-Giraudon.