Batoni’s first independent commission came in 1732, granted by a member of the distinguished Gabrielli family. Batoni was rather lucky to get this job, for when the commissioner was sheltering himself from the rain when he saw the young artist sketching on the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Capitolium. Gabrielli asked Batoni to see more of his artwork and was highly impressed by what he saw in Batoni’s studio. So, Gabrielli promptly requested the artist to execute a new altarpiece in his family’s chapel in San Gregorio Magno al Celio. Batoni painted the Madonna on a Throne with Child and Four Saints and Blesseds of the Gabrielli family.
This commission was quite crucial to Batoni’s career, for his artwork was highly celebrated and boosted his reputation. By the early 1740s, Batoni was already receiving many other important independent commissions. His painting The Ecstasy of Saint of Siena, executed in 1743, is one of his most celebrated artworks, which shows an exquisite finesse in the late-Baroque style. Another masterpiece from this period is the Fall of Simon Magus.
Although Batoni’s artworks were already highly regarded by both critics and the public, the artist would become one of the most fashionable artists in Italy, especially following the departure from his main rival, Anton Raphael Mengs, to Spain.
Soon, the artist befriended the German archeologist and art historian Johann Winckelmann, who was a pioneer in defining differences between Roman, Greco-Roman, and Greek art. Henceforth, Batoni most definitely influenced and aimed his compositions towards the style of Classic painters such as Poussin and Raphael, rather than the Venetian artists, whose artworks were in vogue at the period.
Batoni’s portraits became highly demanded, especially by British young men making the “Grand Tour,” which was a traditional trip through Europe for young men that reached a certain age. His portraits proliferate through the United Kingdom.