The artist Roberto Bompiani died on January 19, 1908 in Rome, in the midst of working on a monumental work entitled The Apotheosis of Sappho.  After his death the work was completed by the president of the Scuola di San Luca in Rome, where he had begun his training at the age of fifteen.  

Bompiani was born to a wealthy family, which enable him to dedicate himself solely to the study of art.  He was particularly enamored with painting, though briefly produced sculptural works between 1865 and 1870.  He was known as the “Italian Bouguereau” because of his interest in mythological and Classical scenes, painted in a conservative academic style.  

The artist exhibited internationally during his lifetime at various expositions and salons, and earned the attention of the Borghese for whom he painted two canvases recording the visit of Pope Pius IX to the family’s properties in 1854.  Bompiani also painted frescoes for San Paolo fuori le Mure (1854), San Lorenzo in Lucina (1856-1860) and Santa Maria in Trastevere (1860). 

Further Reading:

Santi, Pietro, “BOMPIANI, Roberto” Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani – Volume 11 (1969). Accessed 1/16/2018.

Roberto Bompiani, Self Portrait, 1896, Private Collection.

Roberto Bompiani, The Roman Feast, 1875-1899, The J. Paul Getty Museum.

Roberto Bompiani, An Italian Girl, 1860-1870, The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

Roberto Bompiani, Portrait of Mrs. Butterfield, 1839-1867, Bradford Museums and Galleries 

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