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 :. | Portrait of Infante Antonio Pascual of Spain | Portrait of Infanta Maria Josefa | Portrait of the Infante Gabriel of Spain | Infantin Maria Theresa von Neapel | Infantin Maria Theresa von Neapel |
Related Artists:Valtat Louis
Dieppe 1869-Choisel 1952
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German Northern Renaissance Painter, 1494-ca.1519
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Ernest Duez Location
French painter. He studied under Isidore-Alexandre-Augustin Pils and made his debut at the Salon in 1868. One of his earliest paintings, The Honeymoon (1873), caused a scandal at the Salon owing to its depiction of two lovers in modern dress walking through a sunlit forest. His triptych St Cuthbert (1879; Paris, Pompidou) was hailed as a masterpiece of modern art and bought by the State for the Musee du Luxembourg in Paris. The painting depicts the stages of St Cuthbert life, from child to hermit. Contemporary viewers were struck by the artist use of a real landscape setting, based on Villerville in Normandy where Duez spent much of his time. In addition to genre, religious and history paintings, in 1876 he began to produce portraits: Alphonse de Neuville (1880; Versailles, Cheteau) is a typical example. His brooding, suggestive portrait of Mme Duez (1877; see Montrosier, 1896, p. 429) shows the influence of Symbolism. However, he soon returned to painting works that were essentially landscapes, such as the decorative panel Virgil Seeking Inspiration in the Woods (1888) for the Sorbonne and a pair of allegorical figures, Botany and Physics (1892), for the Hetel de Ville in Paris. He also devoted time to applied art, producing a variety of textile designs. His work was praised for its adept use of colour and for bringing what were seen as modern techniques to traditional subjects.