Maria Amalia of SaxonyCa. 1761. Oil on canvas, 154 x 110 cm.
A frontal view of the Queen. She sits, wearing a red silk dress with white sleeves and bonnet. Her right arm rests very naturally on a table, while her left holds a book. She is marking one of the pages with her finger as though she had just interrupted her reading. This is quite common in female portraits. Maria Amalia was born to Friedrich Augustus III, King of Poland and elector of Saxony; and Mary Josephine of Austria, in 1724. She married Carlos VII, king of Naples and future Carlos III of Spain, in 1738 and died in Madrid in 1760, barely a year after taking the throne there. The background of pillars and green curtains configures this official portrait of the Queen of Spain, a pendant of that of her husband (P02200). Mengs probably made this painting around 1761, shortly after he arrived in Madrid. By then, the queen had already died, making this a posthumous portrait. That may explain why there are no replicas or copies, which were so numerous in the case of Mengs´ portrait of her husband.