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 Archduke Ferdinand (1769-1824) and Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria (1770-1809), children of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor | St Foseph-s dream | Semiramis Receives News of the Babylonian Revolt by Anton Raphael Mengs. Now in the Neues Schloss, Bayreuth | Portrait of Domenico Annibali (1705-1779), Italian singer | the later Queen Maria Luisa of Spain |
Related Artists:skagens museumArthur Elsley
Italian Baroque Era Painter, 1559-1613
was an Italian painter and architect of the late Mannerist and early Baroque period, trained and active in his early career in Florence, and spending the last nine years of his life in Rome. Lodovico Cardi was born at Villa Castelvecchio di Cigoli, in Tuscany, whence the name by which he is commonly known. Initially, Cigoli trained in Florence under the fervid mannerist Alessandro Allori. Later, influenced by the most prominent of the Contra-Maniera painters, Santi di Tito, as well as by Barocci, Cigoli shed the shackles of mannerism and infused his later paintings with an expressionism often lacking from 16th century Florentine painting. For example, for the Roman patron, Massimo Massimi, he painted an Ecce Homo (now in Palazzo Pitti). Supposedly unbenknownst to any of the painters, two other prominent contemporary painters, Passignano and Caravaggio, had been requested canvases on the same theme. It is unclear if they are completely independent. Cigoli's painting seems to have been made with knowledge of Caravaggio's canvas; however, while Cigoli's work lacks the power of Caravaggio's naturalism, the background shade and sparse foreground shows how much he was moving away from crowded Florentine historical paintings. This work was afterwards taken by Bonaparte to the Louvre, and was restored to Florence in 1815. One of his early paintings was of Cain slaying Abel. He then gained the employ of the Grand-Duke in some works for the Pitti Palace, where he painted a Venus and Satyr and a Sacrifice of Isaac. Other important pictures are St. Peter Healing the Lame Man in St Peter's; Conversion of St. Paul in the church of San Paolo fuori le Mura, and a Story of Psyche in a fresco incorporated in the decorative scheme of the Villa Borghese; a Martyrdom of Stephen, which earned him the name of the "Florentine Correggio", a Stigmata of St. Francis at Florence. Cigoli was made a Knight of Malta at the request of Pope Paul III. Cigoli, a close personal friend of Galileo Galilei, painted a last fresco in the dome of the Pauline chapel of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, depicting the Madonna standing upon a pock-marked lunar orb. This is the first extant example of Galileo's discoveries about the physical nature of the moon (as he himself drew it in Sidereus Nuncius) having penetrated the visual arts practice of his day. Until this image, the moon in pictures of the Virgin had always been mythical and smooth, perfectly spherical as described by Platonic & Ptolemaic tradition.