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Charles III
Mengs, Anton Rafael
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Mengs, Anton Rafael

Aussig, Bohemia, 1728 - Roma, 1779

Miniatura autor

Charles III

Ca. 1765. Oil on canvas, 151.1 x 109 cm.

This image of King Charles III was paired with a portrait of his wife, Maria Amalia of Saxony (P2201), although the image of the queen was not painted in her presence. Instead, it was invented on the basis of other likenesses, as she died before the artist was able to paint her.

Mengs’s effigie of Charles III became the monarch’s official image and was therefore the object of various replicas. One such copy, of excellent quality and with some variants (P5011), must have been painted in 1774 on the occasion of the king’s founding of the Royal Order of Charles III, as he appears with the lion necklace and the insignia of the Immaculate Conception, as well as the blue and white sash of that corporation. The portrait of Charles III was twice engraved by Manuel Salvador Carmona in 1783, and also by Rafael Morghen for the Guía de forasteros.

The king appears in armor and regal robes, standing out against a palatial indoor background with curtains and a wide pilaster on a pedestal. His left hand transmits an imperative gesture while his right holds his command baton. The insignias of three monarchical military orders -the Golden Fleece and the medals of the orders of the Saint-Esprit of France and of Saint Gennaro of Naples- are visible on his chest. The broad cummerbund at his waist and the sword, whose hilt is visible at his side, complete an image in which military elements are integrated into a courtly conception.

His face is severe but not haughty, reflecting the complacent character that Mengs brought to regal iconography in most of the commissions he carried out at the crown’s behest. In contrast to the rigidity of his portrait of Queen Maria Amalia of Saxony, the king is presented with a most pleasing naturalness and closeness, despite the logical decorum imposed by the solemnity of a monarchical image.

Replicas and successive interpretations of the royal likeness were intended to satisfy the demands of foreign courts and government centers throughout Spain’s vast empire, and there is a revealing document in this regard. In 1773, the Marquis of Grimaldi wrote to the Marquis of Montealegre: the empress of Russia has requested portraits of the King and of our lords, the Prince and Princess. Don Francisco Bayeu and Don Mariano Maella have been ordered to paint them, and it has been determined that the copies should be made by don Rafael Mengs. Consequently, besides their workshop aides, other artists from court circles -painters and engravers- participated as needed in the generation of replicas of the official model created by Mengs (Text extracted from Luna, J. J.: El Prado en el Ermitage, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2011, pp. 168-169).

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Technical data

Related artworks

Maria Amalia of Saxony
Oil on canvas, Ca. 1761
Carlos III
Oil on canvas, Ca. 1774
Inventory number
P02200
Author
Mengs, Anton Rafael
Title
Charles III
Date
Ca. 1765
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
High/Height: 151.1 cm.; Width: 109 cm.
Provenance
Royal Collection (Royal Palace, Madrid, "callejón de paso a las tribunas", 1814-1818, s.n.?).

Bibliography +

Inventarios Palacio Nuevo. 1794, Madrid, 1794.

Inventario de las Pinturas del Museo Hecho a la Muerte del R, Madrid [s.n, 1834, pp. 38.

Antonio Rafael Mengs : 1728-1779 : noticia de su vida y de s, Madrid [s.n.],, 1929, pp. 13.

Mayoral y Herrero, Jose, El Prognatismo Inferior en los Borbones de España. Tesis Doc, Madrid Odontologia Clinica, 1933, pp. lám.26.

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier, Los retratos de los Reyes de España, Barcelona Omega, 1948, pp. lám.155.

Honisch, Dieter, Anton Raphael Mengs Und Die Bildform des Fruhklassizismus, Recklinghausen Aurel Bongers, 1965, pp. 100-101.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Madrid Museo del Prado, 1972.

Permanencia de la memoria: cartones para tapiz y dibujos de, Zaragoza Gobierno de Aragón, Departamento de Educación y Cu, 1977, pp. 76.

L' art européen á la cour d'Espagne au XVIIIe siecle, Paris Reunion des musees nationaux, 1979, pp. 185,186.

Antonio Rafael Mengs: 1728-1779, Madrid Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General del Patri, 1980, pp. 30.

Sánchez Albornoz, Claudio, Historia Universal. Vol. I. Desde los Origenes al 600 A. C, Barcelona Carroggio, 1981, pp. 202.

Simon Bolivar: bicentenario de su nacimiento 1783-1983, Caracas Consejo Nacional de Cultura, 1983.

Menéndez Pidal, Ramón, Historia de España. Vol. XXIX. La Epoca de los Primeros Borb, Madrid EspasaCalpe, 1985, pp. 159/ lám.52.

Museo Nacional del Prado., Museo del Prado : catálogo de las pinturas /, Madrid Museo del Prado,, 1985.

Museo Nacional del Prado., Museo del Prado : catálogo de las pinturas /, Madrid Museo del Prado,, 1985, pp. 417-418.

Fernandez Miranda y Lozana, Fernando, Inventarios Reales. Carlos III. 1789-1790. Vol. I, Madrid Patrimonio Nacional, 1988, pp. 42.

Arnáiz, José Manuel, Los pintores de la Ilustración, Madrid Ayuntamiento, Concejalía de Cultura, 1988, pp. 129.

Anatra, Bruno, Venezia e la Spagna, Milan Electa, 1988, pp. 211/ lám.228.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso, Carlos III coleccionista a través de las colecciones del Prado. FUNDACION FRANCISCO GINER DE LOS RI, 1988, pp. 29.

Symmons, Sarah, Goya. In Pursuit of Patronage, Londres Gordon Fraser, 1988, pp. 105.

Iglesias, Maria del Carmen, Carlos III y la ilustración: 1788-1988, Madrid Ministerio de Cultura, 1988, pp. 434.

Quintana, A., Goya y el Espiritu de la Ilustracion, Madrid Museo del Prado, 1988, pp. 139,140.

Buades Torrent, Josefina., El Edificio del Ministerio de Economía y Hacienda y su tesoro artístico, Madrid Ministerio de Economía y Hacienda,, 1988, pp. 94-95.

Goya and the spirit of enlightenment /, Boston Museum of Fine Arts,, 1989, pp. 3.

Portela Sandoval, Francisco Jose, La pintura del siglo XVIII, Barcelona Vicens-Vives, 1990, pp. 139.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, Madrid Museo del PradoEspasa Calpe, 1990, pp. 530.

Buendía, José Rogelio1928-, El Prado. Colecciones de Pintura, Barcelona Lunwerg Editores, 1994, pp. 474.

La Pintura Española, Milan Electa, 1995, pp. 399/ lám.487.

Roettgen, Steffi, Anton Raphael Mengs, 1728-1779, Munchen Hirmer Verlag, 1999, pp. 207/ lám.138.

El Westmorland: recuerdos del Grand Tour, Sevilla Fundación el Monte, 2002, pp. 213-214, nº 6.

Agueda Villar, M. Calderón, R. Kinder Kar, C, Legacy : Spain and the United States in the Age of Independe... : Smithsonian Institute : Sociedad, 2007, pp. 254.

Hollweg, Pia, Anton Raphael Mengs’ Wirken in Spanien : Peter Lang, 2008.

El Prado en el Hermitage : Museo Estatal del Hermitage : Mus, 2011, pp. 168-169.

Other inventories +

Inv. Fernando VII, Palacio Nuevo, 1814-1818. Núm. ¿s. n.?.
Pinturas que existen en el Callejón / que llaman de paso a las Tribunas colgadas y sin colgar [...] {21952-21953} Dos varas alto vara y media ancho, Carlos III armado = doña Maria Amalia = Mengs

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 2001.
Rafael Mengs / 2001. Retrato de Carlos 3º. / Alto 5 pies, 56 pulg; ancho 3 pes, 11 pulg.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 1440c.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 2200.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1942-1996. Núm. 2200.

Exhibitions +

Exposición didáctica: el Museo del Prado en San Salvador
San Salvador, El Salvador
23.10.2015 - 29.11.2015

Instalación temporal: Carlos de Borbón, un monarca entre Nápoles y España
19.10.2015 - 12.01.2016

Exposición didáctica: el Museo del Prado en Guatemala
Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala
21.07.2015 - 30.08.2015

Exposición didáctica: el Museo del Prado en Honduras
Tegucigalpa. Honduras.
05.05.2015 - 28.06.2015

El Prado en el Hermitage
San Petersburgo
25.02.2011 - 29.05.2011

From El Greco to Dalí: Spanish Masters and their Followers
Estocolmo
27.02.2003 - 18.05.2003

Permanencia en la memoria . Cartones para tapices y dibujos de Goya
Zaragoza
14.02.1997 - 06.04.1997

Goya y el Espíritu de la Ilustración
Nueva York NY
09.05.1989 - 16.07.1989

Carlos III y la Ilustración
Barcelona
27.02.1989 - 16.04.1989

Goya y el Espíritu de la Ilustración
Boston
18.01.1989 - 26.03.1989

Carlos III y la Ilustración
Madrid
09.11.1988 - 22.01.1989

Goya y el Espíritu de la Ilustración
Madrid
04.10.1988 - 18.12.1988

Location +

Room 038 (On Display)

Update date: 15-12-2015 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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