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 Charles Hanbury Williams. | Portrait of Domenico Annibali | Diana as Personification of the Night by Anton Raphael Mengs. | Portrait of Maria Antonietta of Spain | British painter |
Related Artists:Jeanne-Philiberte Ledoux
painted Portrait of a lady, said to be the Duchesse de Choiseul in 18th century
HELST, Bartholomeus van der
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1613-1670
Dutch painter. He was the son of a Haarlem inn-keeper and presumably undertook part or all of his training in Amsterdam. His earliest works suggest that the painter Nicolaes Eliasz. Pickenoy was his master. Although van der Helst had probably already established himself as an independent master by the time he married Anna du Pire in Amsterdam in 1636, his earliest known work, a portrait of The Regents of the Walloon Orphanage, Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Maison Descartes), dates from 1637. Stylistically it is close to the work of Pickenoy. His portrait of a Protestant Minister of 1638 (Rotterdam, Boymans-van Beuningen) reveals the influence of Rembrandt. The young artist must have risen rapidly to fame in Amsterdam, for as early as 1639 he received the prestigious commission for a large painting for the Kloveniersdoelen (Arquebusiers' or Musketeers' Hall): The Civic Guard Company of Capt. Roelof Bicker and Lt Jan Michielsz. Blaeuw (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), which formed part of the same series as Rembrandt's 'Night Watch' (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.). Van der Helst may not have completed this commission until 1642 or 1643. The ingenious arrangement of the figures in a broad composition shows the artist's special talent for composing large groups. Pickenoy's influence is less noticeable here than in the portrait of 1637; the self-assured poses of the individual figures were to become a characteristic feature of van der Helst's work. The successful execution of this portrait established van der Helst's reputation: from 1642, when he began to receive an increasing number of commissions for individual portraits, until 1670 he was the leading portrait painter of the ruling class in Amsterdam. From 1642 his technique in portrait painting gradually became more fluent and the rendering of costume materials more detailed. Some typical portraits of his earlier period are those of Andries Bicker (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), his wife Catharina Gansneb Tengnagel (Dresden, Gem?ldegal. Alte Meister) and their son Gerard Bicker (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), all of 1642, and the Portrait of a Young Girl (1645; London, N.G.). In 1648 van der Helst painted a second civic guard portrait, The Celebration of the Peace of M?nster at the Crossbowmen's Headquarters, Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), a superbly composed and well painted portrait that, until the late 19th century, was considered one of the masterpieces of the Golden Age but later lost popularity because of its smooth and modish execution. It can nevertheless still be regarded as one of the most important group portraits of the 17th century.Rinaldo Cuneo