Anton Raphael Mengs
Anton Raphael Mengs Gallery
Mengs was born in 1728 at Usti nad Labem (German: Aussig) in Bohemia on 12 March 1728; he died in Rome 29 June 1779. His father, Ismael Mengs, a Danish painter, established himself finally at Dresden, whence in 1741 he took his son to Rome.
In Rome, his fresco painting of Parnassus at Villa Albani gained him a reputation as a master painter. The appointment of Mengs in 1749 as first painter to Frederick Augustus, elector of Saxony did not prevent his spending much time in Rome, where he had married Margarita Quazzi who had sat for him as a model in 1748, and abjured the Protestant faith, and where he became in 1754 director of the Vatican school of painting, nor did this hinder him on two occasions from obeying the call of Charles III of Spain to Madrid. There Mengs produced some of his best work, and specially 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. Among his pupils there was Agust??n Esteve. After the completion of this work in 1777, Mengs returned to Rome, and there he died, two years later, in poor circumstances, leaving twenty children, seven of whom were pensioned by the king of Spain. His portraits and autoportraits recall an attention to detail and insight, often lost from the grand manner paintings.
Besides numerous paintings in the Madrid gallery, the Ascension and St Joseph at Dresden, Perseus and Andromeda at Saint Petersburg, and the ceiling of the Villa Albani must be mentioned among his chief works. In 1911, Henry George Percy, 7th Duke of Northumberland, possessed a Holy Family, and the colleges of All Souls and Magdalen, at Oxford, possessed altar-pieces by Mengs's hand.
In his writings, in Spanish, Italian and German, Mengs has put forth his eclectic theory of art, which treats of 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. He would have fancied himself the first neoclassicist, while in fact he may be the last flicker of Baroque art. Or in the words of Wittkower, In the last analysis, he is as much an end as a beginning.
His intimacy with Johann Joachim Winckelmann, who constantly wrote at his dictation, has enhanced his historical importance, for he formed no scholars, and the critic must now concur in Goethe's judgment of Mengs in Winckelmann und sein Jahrhundert; he must deplore 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 was famous for his rivalry with the contemporary Italian painter Pompeo Batoni. Related Paintings of Anton Raphael Mengs :. | Charles III of Spain | Portrait of Infante Antonio Pascual of Spain | Self portrait | maria luisa of parmathe princess of asturias | Diana as Personification of the Night by Anton Raphael Mengs. |
Related Artists:Francois Gerard
French Neoclassical Painter, 1770-1837
was a French painter born in Rome, where his father occupied a post in the house of the French ambassador. His mother was Italian. François Gerard was born in Rome, on 12 March 1770, to J. S. Gerard and Cleria Matteï. At the age of twelve Gerard obtained admission into the Pension du Roi in Paris. From the Pension he passed to the studio of the sculptor Augustin Pajou which he left at the end of two years for that of the history painter Nicolas-Guy Brenet, whom he quit almost immediately to place himself under Jacques-Louis David. In 1789 he competed for the Prix de Rome, which was carried off by his comrade Girodet. In the following year (1790) he again presented himself, but the death of his father prevented the completion of his work, and obliged him to accompany his mother to Rome. In 1791 he returned to Paris; but his poverty was so great that he was forced to forgo his studies in favor of employment which should bring in immediate profit. David at once availed himself of his help, and one of that master's most celebrated portraits, of Le Pelletier de St Fargeaumay, owes much to the hand of Gerard. This painting was executed early in 1793, the year in which Gerard, at the request of David, was named a member of the revolutionary tribunal, from the fatal decisions of which he, however, invariably absented himself. In 1794 he obtained the first prize in a competition, the subject of which was The Tenth of August, and, further stimulated by the successes of his rival and friend Girodet in the Salons of 1793 and 1794, Gerard (nobly aided by Jean-Baptiste Isabey, the miniaturist, produced in 1795 his famous Belisaire. In 1796 a portrait of his generous friend (in the Louvre) obtained undisputed success, and the money received from Isabey for these two works enabled Gerard to execute in 1797 his Psyche et l'Amour (illustration). At last, in 1799, his portrait of Madame Mere established his position as one of the first portrait-painters of the day. In 1808 as many as eight, in 1810 no less than fourteen portraits by him, were exhibited at the Salon, and these figures afford only an indication of the enormous numbers which he executed yearly; all the leading figures of the Empire and of the Restoration, all the most celebrated men and women of Europe, sat to Gerard. This extraordinary vogue was due partly to the charm of his manner and conversation, for his salon was as much frequented as his studio; Madame de Staël, George Canning, Talleyrand, the Duke of Wellington, have all borne witness to the attraction of his society. Rich and famous, Gerard was stung by remorse for earlier ambitions abandoned; at intervals he had indeed striven to prove his strength with Girodet and other rivals, and his Bataille d'Austerlitz (1810) showed a breadth of invention and style which are even more conspicuous in L'Entree d'Henri IV Paris (at Versailles), the work with which in 1817 he did homage to the Bourbons. After this date Gerard declined, William Dexter
Australian, 1818-1860,was an English-Australian painter. Dexter was born at Melbourne, Derbyshire, England, and became an apprentice at the Derby China factory painting flowers and birds in the Chinese and Japanese styles. Dexter then studied at Paris, and returning to England, married Caroline nee Harper at Nottingham in 1843. Dexter had a picture in the Royal Academy exhibition in 1851 and another in 1852. Dexter then sailed to Australia and arrived at Sydney on 8 October 1852. Dexter was at Bendigo in August 1853, where William Howitt heard him advocating republican doctrines at a meeting of diggers. His wife came out from England at the end of 1854, and in March 1855 they together opened a gallery of arts and school of design in Bathurst Street, Sydney. This apparently was not a success for they went to live at Stratford, Victoria, in 1856, and there made the acquaintance of Angus McMillan. In 1857 Dexter exhibited six oils and three watercolours at the first Victorian Society of Fine Arts exhibition, held in Melbourne. Soon afterwards he returned to Sydney as the Dexters had separated. He became a partner in a sign-writing business, dying there in 1860. Martin Johann Schmidt
Austrian Painter, 1718-1801,was one of the most outstanding Austrian painters of the late Baroque/Rococo along with Franz Anton Maulbertsch. A son of the sculptor Johannes Schmidt and a pupil of Gottlieb Starmayr, he spent most of his life at Stein, where he mostly worked in the numerous churches and monasteries of his Lower Austrian homeland. While the evolution of his style after 1750 shows that he had either spent a formative period in northern Italy or had at least had extensive contact with northern Italian works of art prior to that date, his works are also clearly influenced by Rembrandt (visible above all in his etchings) and the great fresco-painters of the Austrian Baroque, Paul Troger and Daniel Gran. Despite not having received formal academic training, in 1768 he was made a member of the imperial academy at Vienna due to his artistic merits, which by that time had already been recognized by a wider public inside and outside of Austria. Primarily he painted devotional images for private devotion and churches, including a considerable number of large altar paintings. His lively and colourful style made him extremely popular with people from all levels of society already during his lifetime. From 1780 mythological and low-life themes became increasingly frequent, only to be replaced by a renewed concentration on religious topics during the very last years of Schmidt's life. He was at that an important draughtsman and has left numerous etchings which clearly show Rembrandt's influence. While his earlier works typically show a warm chiaroscuro, from about 1770 he used increasingly stronger and more lively colours. Simultanueously, both his style and his brush technique became much more free, making him, like Franz Anton Maulbertsch, an important predecessor of impressionism. In this aspect, his mature style is completely contrary to neoclassicism, the style which increasingly dominated European art after about 1780.