Three-quarter length. Sitter facing with left arm leaning against pedestal in velvet fur lined (lynx fur) robe.

John Rolle Walter served as MP for Exeter (1754-76) and Devon (1776-79). He was the second son of John Rolle of Stevenstone and Isabella Charlotte (née Walter), he took the name of Walter on inheritance of his mother’s estates in Oxfordshire. He travelled to Italy on the Grand Tour in 1752-53 and was painted by Pompeo Batoni while in Rome.

Batoni won international fame mostly due to his ability to portray British nobility, often shown against famous Italian landscapes. Grand Tour portraits by Batoni found homes in private collections and helped to ensure the genre’s popularity in Great Britain. Since RAMM’s acquisition of the John Rolle Walter portrait, a preliminary study has been identified at the Statens Museum, Copenhagen (The National Gallery of Denmark).

Purchased with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Art Fund, MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, Devon County Council, the Friends of RAMM, the Reynolds Chard Bequest and private donors, 2008


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