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 :. | Self portrait | British painter | Portrait of Charles III of Spain | Portrait of Maria Luisa of Spain | Self-portrait |
Related Artists:Jacobus Theodorus Abels
French, 1826-1895Jan van Goyen
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1596-1656
Jan van Goyen was born in Leiden on Jan. 13, 1596. Apprenticed from the age of 10, he had several masters. About 1617 he went to Haarlem to study with Esaias van de Velde, an important innovator in the Haarlem movement of realistic landscape painting. Van Goyen's works between 1621 and 1625 are sometimes hard to distinguish from those of his teacher. They are colorful, detailed views of villages and roads, usually busy with people, as in Winter (1621). It was Van Goyen's usual practice to sign or monogram and date his paintings. He traveled extensively through the Netherlands and beyond, recording his impressions in sketchbooks, occasionally with dates and often depicting recognizable scenes. Thus the chronology of his development is clear. His paintings of the late 1620s show a steady advance from the strong colors and scattered organization of his early works toward tonality and greater simplicity and unity of composition. By 1630 he was painting monochromes in golden brown or pale green; he played a leading part in the tonal phase of Dutch landscape painting. In 1631 Van Goyen settled in The Hague, where he became a citizen in 1634. The simplicity, airiness, and unification of his compositions continued to increase in his abundant production of dune landscapes, river views, seascapes, town views, and winter landscapes. The River View (1636) displays a river so open and extensive as to suggest the sea, with reflections that prolong the vast and luminous sky. In its monumentalization of humble structures and its composition built on a firm scaffolding of horizontal and vertical forces, it forecast at this early date developments that dominated landscape painting in the 1650s and later. In the Village and Dunes (1647) the traditional double-diagonal composition still exists, but it is dominated by horizontal and vertical accents. Stronger contrasts of light and dark replace the earlier tonality. In the last year of his life Van Goyen produced an eloquent new style, in which powerful forms stand out against the radiant sky and water in an exquisitely balanced composition (Evening Calm; 1656). The commission in 1651 to paint a panoramic view of The Hague for the Burgomaster's Room shows the high regard in which Van Goyen was held. He was enormously productive; well over 1,000 of his paintings still exist, and almost as many drawings.