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 :. | Noli me tangere, painting by Anton Raphael Mengs. All Souls College, Oxford | Maria Luisa of Parma | Self ortrait | Portrait of Infanta Maria Josefa | Self-portrait |
Related Artists:Jose de Ribera
Spanish Painter and Print engraver , 1591-1652
Information concerning the life and personality of Jusepe de Ribera is sparse. He was born the son of a shoemaker in Jetiva, Valencia Province. He appears to have gone to the city of Valencia while still a boy, but nothing is known of his possible artistic training there. As an adolescent, he traveled to Italy and spent time in Lombardy. Next he was in Parma, from which, it is said, he was driven by the contentious jealousy of local artists. He located himself in Rome until an accumulation of debts forced him to flee. Finally he settled in Naples, where in 1616 he married Caterina Azzolino, the daughter of a painter, by whom he had seven children between the years 1627 and 1636. The Academy of St. Luke in Rome elected Ribera to membership in 1625, and 6 years later the Pope conferred upon him the Order of Christ. It is understandably speculated that Ribera revisited Rome for these events. Being sought after in Naples by the Church and the various Spanish viceroys who ruled there in the name of the Spanish monarchy, he dismissed the idea of returning to his homeland. He was quoted as saying that he was honored and well paid in Naples and that Spain was a cruel stepmother to its own children and a compassionate mother to foreigners. Nevertheless, he generally added his nationality when he signed his works. This practice inspired the Italians to nickname him "the Little Spaniard" (Lo Spagnoletto). The last decade of Ribera's life was one of personal struggle. He suffered from failing health, the taunts of other artists that his fame was "extinct," and difficulty in collecting payments due him. Nevertheless, he kept it from being a tragic defeat by continuing to paint until the very year of his death in Naples. Actually, he was the victim of the local politics and finances. Naples was in the throes of a severe economic depression for which the foreign rulers, the patrons of Ribera, were naturally blamed, and the desperate citizenry was rioting in the streets. It is significant that Ribera continued to receive commissions in such a time, even if there was a dearth of payments. Ribera was inventive in subject matter, ranging through visionary spectacles, biblical themes, genre, portraits, mythological subjects, and portraits of ascetics and penitents. MIEREVELD, Michiel Jansz. van
Dutch painter (b. 1567, Delft, d. 1641, Delft).
Claude Lorrain Galleries
In Rome, not until the mid-17th century were landscapes deemed fit for serious painting. Northern Europeans, such as the Germans Elsheimer and Brill, had made such views pre-eminent in some of their paintings (as well as Da Vinci in his private drawings or Baldassarre Peruzzi in his decorative frescoes of vedute); but not until Annibale Carracci and his pupil Domenichino do we see landscape become the focus of a canvas by a major Italian artist. Even with the latter two, as with Lorrain, the stated themes of the paintings were mythic or religious. Landscape as a subject was distinctly unclassical and secular. The former quality was not consonant with Renaissance art, which boasted its rivalry with the work of the ancients. The second quality had less public patronage in Counter-Reformation Rome, which prized subjects worthy of "high painting," typically religious or mythic scenes. Pure landscape, like pure still-life or genre painting, reflected an aesthetic viewpoint regarded as lacking in moral seriousness. Rome, the theological and philosophical center of 17th century Italian art, was not quite ready for such a break with tradition.
In this matter of the importance of landscape, Lorrain was prescient. Living in a pre-Romantic era, he did not depict those uninhabited panoramas that were to be esteemed in later centuries, such as with Salvatore Rosa. He painted a pastoral world of fields and valleys not distant from castles and towns. If the ocean horizon is represented, it is from the setting of a busy port. Perhaps to feed the public need for paintings with noble themes, his pictures include demigods, heroes and saints, even though his abundant drawings and sketchbooks prove that he was more interested in scenography.
Lorrain was described as kind to his pupils and hard-working; keenly observant, but an unlettered man until his death. The painter Joachim von Sandrart is an authority for Claude's life (Academia Artis Pictoriae, 1683); Baldinucci, who obtained information from some of Claude's immediate survivors, relates various incidents to a different effect (Notizie dei professoni del disegno).
John Constable described Claude Lorrain as "the most perfect landscape painter the world ever saw", and declared that in Claude??s landscape "all is lovely ?C all amiable ?C all is amenity and repose; the calm sunshine of the heart"