Mengs and Azara. Portrait of a Friendship

<em>José Nicolás de Azara</em>, Rafael Mengs. Oil on panel, 77 x 61,5 cm, 1774, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

José Nicolás de Azara, Rafael Mengs. Oil on panel, 77 x 61,5 cm, 1774, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

    To mark the recent addition to the Museum’s collections of Portrait of José Nicolás de Azara, one of Mengs’s finest portraits, the Prado has recreated the friendship and close collaboration that existed between the Neo-classical painter and his sitter, a leading exponent of the Spanish Enlightenment. This small exhibition, on display in Room 38 of the Villanueva Building until 13 October, consists of 24 works – paintings, sculptures, prints, medals and books – from the Museum’s own holdings or loaned from private collections.

    Wednesday 03 July 2013

    The recent acquisition by the State and its entry into the Prado of the remarkable Portrait of José Nicolás de Azara, painted in 1774 by Anton Raphael Mengs, has led to the organisation of this small exhibition, which evokes the friendship and close collaboration that existed between the two men; Mengs, the Neo-classical painter from Bohemia, and Azara, one of the leading names of the Spanish Enlightenment.

    The addition of this work - one of Mengs’s most unique creations in artistic and historical terms - to the Prado’s collections will enrich the Museum’s holdings of 18th-century paintings and add to its group of portraits by Mengs.

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