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Anton Raphael Mengs

Paintings

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - The Dream Of St Joseph by Anton Raphael Mengs

The Dream Of St Joseph

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Adoration Of The Shepherds by Anton Raphael Mengs

Adoration Of The Shepherds

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Infante Francisco Javier Of Spain by Anton Raphael Mengs

Infante Francisco Javier Of Spain

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Truth by Anton Raphael Mengs

Truth

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Descent by Anton Raphael Mengs

Descent

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - St John The Baptist Preaching In The Wilderness by Anton Raphael Mengs

St John The Baptist Preaching In The Wilderness

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Francis Archduke Of Austria by Anton Raphael Mengs

Francis Archduke Of Austria

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - The Head Of An Apostle by Anton Raphael Mengs

The Head Of An Apostle

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Portrait Of Johann Joachim Winckelmann by Anton Raphael Mengs

Portrait Of Johann Joachim Winckelmann

Anton Raphael Mengs Drawing - Study Of A Female Head by Anton Raphael Mengs

Study Of A Female Head

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Self-portrait by Anton Raphael Mengs

Self-portrait

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Gabriel De Bourbon. Infante Of Spain by Anton Raphael Mengs

Gabriel De Bourbon. Infante Of Spain

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Antonio Pascual De Bourbon. Infante Of Spain by Anton Raphael Mengs

Antonio Pascual De Bourbon. Infante Of Spain

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Archduchess Maria Teresa Of Austria With A Caged Parrot by Anton Raphael Mengs

Archduchess Maria Teresa Of Austria With A Caged Parrot

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - The Head Of An Apostle by Anton Raphael Mengs

The Head Of An Apostle

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Charles Iv Prince Of Asturias by Anton Raphael Mengs

Charles Iv Prince Of Asturias

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Charles IIi by Anton Raphael Mengs

Charles III

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Leopold Of Lorraine Grand Duke Of Tuscany by Anton Raphael Mengs

Leopold Of Lorraine Grand Duke Of Tuscany

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Maria Amalia Of Saxony by Anton Raphael Mengs

Maria Amalia Of Saxony

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Perseus And Andromeda by Anton Raphael Mengs

Perseus And Andromeda

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Self-portrait by Anton Raphael Mengs

Self-portrait

Anton Raphael Mengs Painting - Self-portrait by Anton Raphael Mengs

Self-portrait

Self-portrait

Maria Josepha Lorraine, Archduchess of Austria

Maria Carolina of Habsburg-Lorraine, Queen of Naples

Maria Luisa of Bourbon, Grand Duchess of Tuscany

Maria Luisa of Parma, Princess of Asturias

Clergyman Joaquin de Eleta

Ferdinand IV, King of Naples

Archduke Ferdinand and Maria Anna of Austria

Immaculate Conception

Hesperus as Personification of the Evening

Helios as Personification of Midday

The Judgment of Paris

Portrait of John Viscount Garlies, later 7th Earl of Galloway, as Master of Garlies

Maria Luisa of Parma, Princess of Asturias

Perseus and Andromeda

Portrait of the Elector Friedrich Christian

Portrait of the singer Domenico Annibali

Portrait of an architect

Portrait of a man

Self-portrait

Self-portrait in red coat

Anton Raphael Mengs (March 22, 1728[1] – June 29, 1779) was a German Bohemian painter, active in Rome, Madrid and Saxony, who became one of the precursors to Neoclassical painting.

Biography
Self-portrait by Anton Raphael Mengs

Mengs was born in 1728 at Ústí nad Labem (German: Aussig) in Bohemia, the son of Ismael Mengs (da), a Danish painter who eventually established himself at Dresden. In 1741 Mengs's father took him from Dresden to Rome. In Rome, his fresco painting of Parnassus at Villa Albani gained him a reputation as a master painter. In 1749 he was appointed first painter to Frederick Augustus, elector of Saxony, but this did not prevent him from spending much of his time in Rome. There he married Margarita Guazzi, who had sat for him as a model in 1748. He converted to Catholicism, and in 1754 he became director of the Vatican school of painting.

In 1749 Mengs accepted a commission from the Duke of Northumberland to make a copy, in oil on canvas, of Raphael's fresco The School of Athens for his London home. Executed in 1752–5, Mengs' painting is full-sized, but adapts the composition to a rectangular format, with some additional figures.It is now in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.[2] Mengs died in Rome in June 1779 and was buried in the Roman Church of Santi Michele e Magno.


Career
Anton Raphael Mengs - Self-portrait

On two occasions he accepted invitations from Charles III of Spain to go to Madrid. There he produced some of his best work, most notably the ceiling of the banqueting hall of the Royal Palace of Madrid, the subject of which was the Triumph of Trajan and the Temple of Glory. After the completion of this work in 1777, Mengs returned to Rome, where he died two years later, in poor circumstances, leaving twenty children, seven of whom were pensioned by the king of Spain. His portraits and self-portraits recall an attention to detail and insight often lost in his grander paintings.

His closeness to Johann Joachim Winckelmann[3] has enhanced his historical importance. Mengs came to share Winckelmann's enthusiasm for classical antiquity, and worked to establish the dominance of Neoclassical painting. At the same time, however, the influence of the Roman Baroque remained strong in his work, particularly in his religious paintings. He would have fancied himself the first neoclassicist, while in fact he may be the last flicker of Baroque art. Rudolf Wittkower wrote: "In the last analysis, he is as much an end as a beginning".[4] In Winckelmann und sein Jahrhundert, Goethe regretted that "so much learning should have been allied to a total want of initiative and poverty of invention, and embodied with a strained and artificial mannerism."

Mengs had a well-known rivalry with the contemporary Italian painter Pompeo Batoni. He was also a friend of Giacomo Casanova. Casanova provides accounts of his personality and contemporary reputation through anecdotes in his Histoire de Ma Vie. Among his pupils in Italy were Anton von Maron, Antonio Maron (Vienna, 1731- Naples 1761).[5] His pupils in Spain included Agustín Esteve.

Besides numerous paintings in Madrid, the Ascension and St Joseph at Dresden, Perseus and Andromeda at Saint Petersburg, and the ceiling of the Villa Albani are among his chief works. In 1911, Henry George Percy, 7th Duke of Northumberland, possessed Mengs's work entitled Holy Family, and the colleges of All Souls and Magdalen, at Oxford, possessed altar-pieces by Mengs.
Theoretical writings

In his writings, in Spanish, Italian, and German, Mengs expressed an eclectic theory of art, seeing perfection as attainable by a well-schemed combination of diverse excellences: Greek design, with the expression of Raphael, the chiaroscuro of Correggio, and the colour of Titian.


Selected works

Ascension (Dresden, Court Church), 1751/1766
St Joseph (Dresden, Court Church), 1751/1766
The Glory of Saint Eusebius (ceiling fresco, Sant'Eusebio, Rome), 1757 (modello, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Canada Ottawa)
Charles III (Madrid, Museo del Prado), 1761


See also

Karl Woermann, Ismael und Raphael Mengs (Leipzig, 1893)

Notes

"Anton Raphael Mengs (Bohemian painter)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
"The School of Athens (after Raphael)". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
"Web Gallery of Art, image collection, virtual museum, searchable database of European fine arts (1000-1900)". wga.hu.
Wittkower, p 469
Supplemento alla Serie dei trecento elogi e ritratti degli uomini i più illustri in Pittura , Scultura, e Architettura. by Pellegrino Antonio Orlandi, published by Stamperia Allegrini, Pisoni, e comp, Florence (1776); column 1368-1369.

A case for an attribution to Giovanni Casanova, brother of the famous memoirist and rake, was made by Thomas Pelzel, "Winckelmann, Mengs and Casanova: A Reappraisal of a Famous Eighteenth-Century Forgery", The Art Bulletin 54.3 (September 1972:300-315).

Sources

Wittkower, Rudolf (1993). "Art and Architecture Italy, 1600–1750". Pelican History of Art. 1980. Penguin Books Ltd. p. 469.
"Anthon Rafael Mengs". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
Neil Jeffares, Dictionary of pastellists before 1800, online edition

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

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