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 :. | Infanta Maria Josefa | Self ortrait | Unknown Cardinal | Night by Anton Raphael Mengs | Allegory of History |
Related Artists:Jacob van Ruisdael
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1628-1682
Ruysdael's favorite subjects are simple woodland scenes, similar to those of Everdingen and Hobbema. He is especially noted as a painter of trees, and his rendering of foliage, particularly of oak leaf age, is characterized by the greatest spirit and precision. His views of distant cities, such as that of Haarlem in the possession of the marquess of Bute, and that of Katwijk in the Glasgow Corporation Galleries, clearly indicate the influence of Rembrandt.
He frequently painted coast-scenes and sea-pieces, but it is in his rendering of lonely forest glades that we find him at his best. The subjects of certain of his mountain scenes seem to be taken from Norway, and have led to the supposition that he had traveled in that country. We have, however, no record of such a journey, and the works in question are probably merely adaptations from the landscapes of Van Everdingen, whose manner he copied at one period. Only a single architectural subject from his brush is known--an admirable interior of the New Church, Amsterdam. The prevailing hue of his landscapes is a full rich green, which, however, has darkened with time, while a clear grey tone is characteristic of his seapieces. The art of Ruysdael, while it shows little of the scientific knowledge of later landscapists, is sensitive and poetic in sentiment, and direct and skillful in technique. Figures are sparingly introduced into his compositions, and such as occur are believed to be from the pencils of Adriaen van de Velde, Philip Wouwerman, and Jan Lingelbach.
Unlike the other great Dutch landscape painters, Ruysdael did not aim at a pictorial record of particular scenes, but he carefully thought out and arranged his compositions, introducing into them an infinite variety of subtle contrasts in the formation of the clouds, the plants and tree forms, and the play of light. He particularly excelled in the painting of cloudscapes which are spanned dome-like over the landscape, and determine the light and shade of the objects.
Goethe lauded him as a poet among painters, and his work shows some of the sensibilities the Romantics would later celebrate.Gabriel Metsu
Gabriel Metsu Galleries
One of his earliest pictures is the "Lazarus" at the Strassburg Museum, painted under the influence of Jan Steen. In 1653 under the influence of Rembrandt he painted "Woman taken in Adultery," a large picture which is now in the Louvre. To the same period belong the "Departure of Hagar," formerly in the Thore collection, and the "Widow's Mite" at the Schwerin Gallery. But he probably observed that sacred art was ill suited to his temper, or he found the field too strongly occupied, and turned to other subjects for which he was better fitted. That at one time he was deeply impressed by the vivacity and bold technique of Frans Hals can be gathered from Lord Lonsdale's picture of "Women at a Fishmonger's Shop."
What Metsu undertook and carried out from the first with surprising success was the low life of the market and tavern, contrasted, with wonderful versatility, by incidents of high life and the drawing-room. In no single instance do the artistic lessons of Rembrandt appear to have been lost upon him. The same principles of light and shade which had marked his schoolwork in the "Woman taken in Adultery" were applied to subjects of quite a different kind. A group in a drawing-room, a series of groups in the market-place, or a single figure in the gloom of a tavern or parlour, was treated with the utmost felicity by fit concentration and gradation of light, a warm flush of tone pervading every part, and, with that, the study of texture in stuffs was carried as far as it had been by Ter Borch or Gerard Dou, if not with the finish or the brio of De Hooch.
One of the best pictures of Metsu's manhood is the "Market-place of Amsterdam," at the Louvre, respecting which it is difficult to distribute praise in fair proportions, so excellent are the various parts, the characteristic movement and action of the dramatis personae, the selection of faces, the expression and the gesture, and the texture of the things depicted. Equally fine, though earlier, are the "Sportsman" (dated 1661) and the "Tavern" (also 1661) at the Hague and Dresden Museums, and the "Game-Dealer's Shop," also at Dresden, with the painter's signature and 1662.
Gabriel Metsu, Man Writing a Letter (1662-1665), Oil on canvas, National Gallery of Ireland, DublinAmong the five examples of the painter in the Wallace Collection, are "The Tabby Cat," and "The Sleeping Sportsman," which cost Lord Hertford £ 3000, is an admirable example technically considered. Among his finest representations of home life are the "Repast" at the Hermitage in St Petersburg; the "Mother nursing her Sick Child" in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; the "Amateur Musicians" at the Hague Gallery; the "Duet" and the "Music Lesson" at the National Gallery, London, and many more examples at nearly all the leading European galleries. Five of his painting are in Dresden, collected by August the Strong.Gaspar Peeter Verbrugghen the younger