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Portrait of King Charles IV as Prince of Asturias
Mengs, Anton Raphael (Replica)
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Portrait of King Charles IV as Prince of Asturias

Ca. 1765. Oil on canvas. On display elsewhere

Mengs had a profound influence on the younger generation of Spanish painters, notably on the Bayeus, Maella, Inza, Goya and Vicente López Portaña. His Neoclassical style was diametrically opposed to Tiepolo´s, whose style and paintings were falling out of fashion. The Spanish Collections hold many of his portraits. He was a refined and skyfull court painter with exquisite technique, enamel-bright colors, minutely detailed fabrics and jewelry, and flesh tones as fine and luminous as porcelain. This portrait is a copy of original, also owned by the Prado and traditionally dated circa 1765. It is believed to be the official portrait commissioned for the engagement of the Prince and Princess María Luisa. Though undocumented, this assumption is based on the fact that so many copies of this portrait exist. Aesthetically and technically it draws inspiration from Velázquez, especially in the positioning of the figure and his surrounding. Yet it lacks the magical touch found in Velázquez´s court portrait. Charles, Prince of Asturias (Portici, 1748-Naples,1819) was the son of Charles III and María Amalia of Saxony. He married his cousin, María Luisa of Parma, the daughter of Philip of Bourbon, Duke of Parma, and of Luisa Isabel of France, in 1765. In 1788, he succeeded to the throne as Charles IV. He was overthrown in 1808 and exiled, with his wife, the Queen, to Rome, as a prisioner of Napoleon. He died in Naples without ever returning to Spain. Mengs emphasizes the volume of this figure by placing it squarely on the foreground, and backlighting it. The Prince is in a gray coat, suede waistcoat, and high black leather boots, wearing sashes of the Orders of Saint Esprit and San Gennaro and the insignia of the Golden Fleece. In the background is a forest with deer, a landscape suggesting a hunting preserve near Madrid, perhaps the Pardo. This portrait was intended as a matched pair with the Portrait of Queen María Luisa as a Princess of Asturias (P007131) (Text drawn from Luna Fernández, Juan J., The Majesty of Spain, Jackson, Mississippi, 2001, p. 70).

The Majesty of Spain. Royal Collections From the Museo del P, Jackson, Mississipi Commission For Internati, 2001, p.70

Technical data

Inventory number
Mengs, Anton Raphael (Replica)
Portrait of King Charles IV as Prince of Asturias
Ca. 1765
Height: 138 cm.; Width: 103 cm.
In the Royal Mint of Madrid until 1911. Entered into the Prado Museum that year.

Bibliography +

Espinós, Adela; Orihuela, Mercedes y Royo Villanova, Mercedes, ''El Prado disperso''. Cuadros depositados en Madrid. IV. Patrimonio Nacional. Palacio de Aranjuez, Boletín del Museo del Prado, II, 1981, pp. 58.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, III, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1996.

Herrero Carretero, Concha, Tapices y cartones de Goya, Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 1996.

Permanencia de la memoria: cartones para tapiz y dibujos de, Gobierno de Aragón, Departamento de Educación y Cu, Zaragoza, 1997.

The Majesty of Spain. Royal Collections From the Museo del P, Mississipi Commission For Internati, Jackson, 2001, pp. 70.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 1349.
''Autor: Don Antonio Rafael Mengs/ 1349. Asunto: Retrato de Carlos IV, siendo Príncipe de Asturias (repetición o copia del Nº 2188 de este Museo)/ Dimensiones: Alto 1,38 Ancho 1,03''

Exhibitions +

Tha majesty of spain. Royal collections from the Museo del Prado & patrimonio nacional (La majestad de España)
Jackson MS
01.03.2001 - 03.09.2001

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

Tapices y cartones de Goya
21.05.1996 - 31.07.1996

Location +

Aranjuez - Palacio Real de Aranjuez (Deposit)

Displayed objects +


Golden Fleece

Update date: 25-07-2019 | Registry created on 16-01-2018

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