Pope Benedict XIV (Latin: Benedictus XIV), born Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini, served as the Pope of the Catholic Church from 17 August 1740 to his death in 1758.
Perhaps one of the greatest scholars in Christendom, yet often overlooked, he promoted scientific learning, the baroque arts, reinvigoration of Thomism, and the study of the human form. Firmly established with great devotion and adherence to the Council of Trent and authentic Catholic teaching, Benedict removed changes previously made to the Breviary, sought peacefully to reverse growing secularism in certain European courts, invigorated ceremonies with great pomp, and throughout his life and his reign, published numerous theological treatises. In terms of the governance of the Papal States, he reduced taxation and also encouraged agriculture. He also supported free trade. A scholar, he laid the groundwork for the present Vatican Museum.
Benedict XIV, to an extent can be considered a polymath due to his numerous studies of ancient literature, the publishing of ecclesiastical books and documents, the study of the human body, and his great devotion to art and theology.