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The Immaculate Conception
Attributed to Mengs, Anton Raphael
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Attributed to Mengs, Anton Raphael

Aussig (Czech Republic), 1728 - Rome (Italy), 1779

Mengs, Anton Raphael See author's file

The Immaculate Conception

XVIII century. Oil on canvas.
Not on display

In keeping with the traditional iconography of the Immaculate Virgin, Mary appears over the Earth’s globe and the crescent moon, stepping on the head of evil serpent and backlit by a shining circle. She is flanked by the heads of cherubs. With extended hands and a crown of stars, she raises her expressive yet withdrawn gaze to the heavens, where two sketchy angels’ heads are barely visible. This singular Immaculate Conception has been attributed to Mengs with some reservations. Its splendid touch, refined technique, delicate modeling and flesh tones, as well as its extremely fine palette recall the original that Mengs painted in Torino in May 1774, just before he returned to Spain. That work, which Ponz mentions as belonging to Fernando Méndez’s private collection in 1788, entered the Casa de los Cinco Gremios Mayores in Madrid. There, according to his personal inventory, José de Madrazo painted four copies of it between 1800 and 1801. It was also copied by José Beratón in 1792 (at the behest of Manuel Godoy) and Angel Arias in 1795 (Text from Gutiérrez Márquez A.: Memoria de actividades del Museo del Prado, 2002, p. 32).

Technical data

Inventory number
Attributed to Mengs, Anton Raphael
The Immaculate Conception
XVIII century
Height: 181 cm; Width: 130 cm
Bequest of Isabel de Borbón y Esteban de León, marquesa de Balboa, 2002

Bibliography +

Roettgen, Steffi, Anton Raphael Mengs, 1728-1779, Hirmer Verlag, Munchen, 1999, pp. nº2.

Jordán de Urríes y de la Colina, Javier, Sobre la lista de las pinturas de Mengs existentes o hechas en España, Boletín del Museo del Prado, XVIII, 2000, pp. 79.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Memoria de actividades 2002, Madrid, 2003, pp. 32.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2631.

Displayed objects +

Orb / Sphere

Update date: 27-01-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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