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 | Maria Luisa von Parma | Infanta Maria Josefa | All Souls College | Charles III of Spain |
Related Artists:Jean-Baptiste Greuze
French Rococo Era Painter, 1725-1805
French painter and draughtsman. He was named an associate member of the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Paris, in 1755 on the strength of a group of paintings that included genre scenes, portraits and studies of expressive heads (tetes d'expression). These remained the essential subjects of his art for the next 50 years, except for a brief, concentrated and unsuccessful experiment with history painting in the late 1760s, which was to affect his later genre painting deeply. Though his art has often been compared with that of Jean-Simeon Chardin in particular and interpreted within the context of NEO-CLASSICISM in general, it stands so strikingly apart from the currents of its time that Greuze's accomplishments are best described, as they often were by the artist's contemporaries, as unique. He was greatly admired by connoisseurs, critics and the general public throughout most of his life. His pictures were in the collections of such noted connoisseurs as Ange-Laurent de La Live de Jully, Claude-Henri Watelet and Etienne-Franeois, Duc de Choiseul. For a long period he was in particular favour with the critic Denis Diderot, who wrote about him in the Salon reviews that he published in Melchior Grimm's privately circulated Correspondance litt?raire. His reputation declined towards the end of his life and through the early part of the 19th century, to be revived after 1850, when 18th-century painting returned to favour, by such critics as Theophile Thore, Arsene Houssaye and, most notably, Edmond and Jules de Goncourt in their book L'Art du dix-huitieme siecle. By the end of the century Greuze's work, especially his many variations on the Head of a Girl, fetched record prices, and his Broken Pitcher (Paris, Louvre) was one of the most popular paintings in the Louvre. Friedrich Heinrich Fuger
German Neoclassical Painter, 1751-1818Michael Sweerts
Michiel Sweerts (September 29, 1618 - 1664), also known as Michael Sweerts, was a Flemish painter of the Baroque period, active in Rome (1645-1656) in the style of the Bamboccianti. The Bamboccianti were known for depicting genre scenes of daily life.
Born in Brussels, he arrived in Rome in the mid 1640s, and rapidly moved into the circle of Flemish painters that had arrayed around Pieter van Laer, and that resided near Santa Maria del Popolo. In 1647, he attended meetings of the Accademia di San Luca, although not as a member. By 1659, he had returned to Brussels, where he joined the painter's guild.
He appears to have become mentally unstable in his last years. In Amsterdam, he joined the Jesuits as a "lay Brother" rather than a priest, and sailed from Marsaille to the East with a missionary group. Travelling to Jerusalem, and from there to Goa, where after causing tribulations to those around him, he died.
Sweerts is an enigmatic and difficult artist to categorize, since he seems to have absorbed a variety of influences to create an eclectic hybrid that can be described as a Netherlandish genre adaptation of an early tenebrist styles: a blend of Vermeer's genre of painting and Caravaggio-influenced full bodied figures.