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 Maria Luisa of Spain | Das Urteil des Paris | Semiramis Receives News of the Babylonian Revolt by Anton Raphael Mengs. Now in the Neues Schloss, Bayreuth | Portrait of the Duchess of Huescar | Holy Roman Empress |
Related Artists:William Clarke Wontner
floruit 1879-circa 1922Carlo Francesco Nuvolone
Italian Baroque Era Painter, 1609-1662
was an Italian painter of the Baroque period, active mainly in Lombardy. He was born in Milan to an Cremonese father and mannerist painter, Panfilo Nuvolone. After working with his father, he studied under Giovanni Battista Crespi (il Cerano) in the Accademia Ambrosiana in Milan. In that studio he would have encountered Daniele Crespi and Giulio Cesare Procaccini. Of particular interest is his depiction of himself as a painter surrounded by his family of artistsLeopold Robert
(13 May 1794 - 20 March 1835), Swiss painter, was born at La Chaux-de-Fonds (Neuchâtel) in Switzerland, but left his native place with the engraver Girardet at the age of sixteen for Paris.
He was on the eve of obtaining the grand prix for engraving when the events of 1815 blasted his hopes, for Neuchâtel was restored to Prussia, and Robert was struck off the list of competitors as a foreigner. Whilst continuing his studies under Girardet he had never ceased to frequent the studio of David, and he now determined to become a painter, and only returned to his native country when his master himself was exiled. At Neuchâtel he attracted the notice of Roullet de Mezerac, who enabled him by a timely loan to proceed to Rome. In depicting the customs and life of the people, of southern Italy especially, he showed peculiar feeling for the historical characteristics of their race.
After executing many detached studies of Italian life Robert conceived the idea of painting four great works which should represent at one and the same time the four seasons in Italy and the four leading races of its people. In the "Return from the Fete of the Madonna dell'Arco" (Louvre) he depicted the Neapolitans and the spring. This picture, exhibited at the Salon of 1827, achieved undoubted success and was bought for the Luxembourg by Charles X; but the work which appeared in 1831 the "Summer Reapers arriving in the Pontine Marshes" (Louvre), which became the property of Louis Philippe established the artist's reputation.
Florence and her autumn vineyards should now have furnished him with his third subject. He attempted to begin it, but, unable to conquer his passion for Princess Charlotte Napoleon (then mourning the violent death of her husband, Robert's devoted friend), he threw up his work and went to Venice, where he began and carried through the fourth of the series, the "Fishers of the Adriatic." This work was not equal to the "Reapers." Worn by the vicissitudes of painful feeling, and bitterly discouraged, Robert committed suicide before his easel on 20 March 1835, on the tenth anniversary of the melancholy suicide of a brother to whom he had been much attached.