Batoni Foz

The Marquis of Foz was one of the most interesting collectors that ever lived in Portugal not only for the quality of his collection but also for its scale and interest he showed in researching and writing about some of the areas that the collection was strong on. Eighteenth-century silver was one of them.

Money, taste and drive was the perfect combination for building a great collection and though part of it was quickly dispersed in 1901, the Foz name stlll holds its value in the history of collecting. Recently, walking around the Met, a wonderful portrait by Pompeo Batoni caught my eye. Later, I realized that it had once adorned the walls of the Palacio Foz in Lisbon.

There are still a lot to be written and researched on this collection, as the family’s archive still exists. It belongs, I believe, to two of the foremost art historians in Portugal, which, I am sure, are only waiting to find time to dive deep into it. Let’s hope it will be soon.

Portrait of a Young Man, Pompeo Batoni, c. 1760-65 (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

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