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The Immaculate Conception
Oil on canvas. XVIII century
Mengs, Anton Raphael (Attributed To)
The Immaculate Conception
Oil on canvas. XVIII century
Mengs, Anton Raphael (Attributed To)

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 With extended hands and a crown of stars, she raises her expressive yet withdrawn gaze to the heavens, where two sketchy angels’ heads are barely visible.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 s

The Youthful Saint John the Baptist in the Desert
Oil on panel. 1753 - 1754
Mengs, Anton Raphael
The Youthful Saint John the Baptist in the Desert
Oil on panel. 1753 - 1754
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Painted with remarkable delicacy, probably from life, in this panel Mengs captures the artless fascination with which the saint presents to the world the message of the Redeemer’s arrival, inscribed on the scroll. The figure’s soft luminosity reveals the influence of Correggio (1493-1534), which was decisive for the early years of Mengs’s Roman period.

Maria Amalia of Saxony
Oil on unlined canvas. Ca. 1761
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Maria Amalia of Saxony
Oil on unlined canvas. Ca. 1761
Mengs, Anton Raphael

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

Father Francesco Pepe
Oil on canvas. 1758 - 1759
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Father Francesco Pepe
Oil on canvas. 1758 - 1759
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Francesco Pepe (c. 1684-1759), an influential Jesuit preacher in Naples, promoted the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and acted as intermediary between Pope Benedict XIV and the Bourbon monarch Charles VII, King of Naples and Sicily. Mengs painted the priest in Rome in 1758 on their only meeting. Cut down at an early date, the canvas may originally have shown Pepe seated, as suggested by the sl

Head of an Apostle
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1764
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Head of an Apostle
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1764
Mengs, Anton Raphael

This highly finished study, in which the priming of the canvas is left visible, relates to one of the heads in The Ascension, painted by Mengs for the high altar of Dresden cathedral. He began the final work around 1755 in Rome, inspired by “the divine Raphael” in his own words. It was completed in Madrid in 1766 and sent from there to Dresden.

Head of an Apostle
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1764
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Head of an Apostle
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1764
Mengs, Anton Raphael

This vigorously modelled study, in which the priming of the canvas is left visible, relates to Mengs’s great canvas of The Ascension. Painted for the high altar of Dresden cathedral, it survived the devastation of the city in the 1945 bombings. It reflects Mengs’s profound knowledge of Italian Renaissance and Baroque painting, particularly the work of Guido Reni.

Ferdinand IV, King of Naples
Oil on canvas. 1760
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Ferdinand IV, King of Naples
Oil on canvas. 1760
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Ferdinand IV (1751-1825) was the third son of Charles VII of Naples and his wife, Maria Amalia of Saxony. When his father acceded to the Spanish throne as Charles III in 1759, he became king of Naples. The sitter wears the Orders of the Golden Fleece and San Gennaro. His childish grace contrasts with the courtly pomp of the setting.

The Prince of Asturias, the future Charles IV
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael
The Prince of Asturias, the future Charles IV
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael

This portrait of Charles IV as the Prince of Asturias has as its pendant a portrait of his wife, María Luisa of Parma, also in the Museo del Prado (P2189). Anton Raphael Mengs had come to Spain in 1761 at the invitation of Charles III in order to serve as pintor de camára, or court painter, the most prestigious appointment for an artist in the service of the king. He probably produce

María Luisa of Parma, Princess of Asturias
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael
María Luisa of Parma, Princess of Asturias
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Mengs painted these portraits of the heirs to the Spanish throne -the prince and princess of Asturias, Carlos de Borbón and Maria Luisa of Parma- on the occasion of their wedding. As the daughter of Philip I, Duke of Parma, and Louise Isabelle of France, and thus granddaughter of Kings Philip V and Louis XV, Maria Luisa was Queen Consort of Spain between 1788 and 1808. She wears a light-col

Charles III
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Charles III
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael

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

Penitent Magdalene
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Penitent Magdalene
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Mary Magdalene, recognisable by her beauty, semi-nudity and the skull -a symbol of meditation on death- prays before a cross made from a branch. Based on a celebrated seventeenth-century Bolognese painting, Mengs painted the first version of this composition in Rome around 1760. This one was painted for his friend Alberico Pini, valet to Charles III.

Portrait of King Charles IV as Prince of Asturias
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael (Replica)
Portrait of King Charles IV as Prince of Asturias
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael (Replica)

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,

Portrait of Queen María Luisa as Princess of Asturias
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael (Replica)
Portrait of Queen María Luisa as Princess of Asturias
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael (Replica)

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,

Self-portrait
Oil on panel. 1761 - 1769
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Self-portrait
Oil on panel. 1761 - 1769
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Presented almost half-length with his face turned to the viewer, Mengs wears a velvet gown and holds the tools of his trade. The panel was painted shortly after the artist’s arrival in Spain and uses a distinctive, sketchy technique that allows the underlayer of priming to show through. The artist reappears in the Prado’s Adoration of the Shepherds (P-2204).

Saint Peter preaching
Oil on canvas. 1761 - 1777
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Saint Peter preaching
Oil on canvas. 1761 - 1777
Mengs, Anton Raphael

This work recalls the philosophers and Apostles by the Baroque painter José de Ribera, albeit refining their pictorial language from the more restrained perspective of Neo-classicism. Saint Peter points to the heavens with his right hand, a gesture that encourages a reflection on the divine mysteries and also refers to his eloquence as an orator.

Maria Josepha, Archduchess of Austria
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1767
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Maria Josepha, Archduchess of Austria
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1767
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Maria Josefa (1751-1767) was the daughter of the Emperor Francis I and his wife Maria Teresa. She was first betrothed to Ferdinand IV of Naples but she died young and was consequently replaced in this dynastic union by her sister Maria Carolina.

Maria Carolina of Habsburg-Lorraine, Queen of Naples
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1768
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Maria Carolina of Habsburg-Lorraine, Queen of Naples
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1768
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Daughter of the Empress María Teresa Habsburg and the Emperor Francisco I of Lorena, María Carolina Habsburg-Lorena (Vienna, 1752-1814) married Ferdinand IV of Naples in 1768, and bore seventeen children. According to Benedetto Croce, Napoleon called her “the only man in the kingdom of Naples”. She is shown here sumptuously dressed and bejeweled, against a landscape of distant trees

Maria Luisa of Parma
Oil on canvas. 1765 - 1769
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Maria Luisa of Parma
Oil on canvas. 1765 - 1769
Mengs, Anton Raphael

El cuadro muestra a la futura reina de España, hija de Felipe de Borbón (1720-1765) y de Luisa Isabel de Francia, duques de Parma. Nació en la capital del ducado el 9 de diciembre de 1751; contrajo matrimonio con su primo el príncipe de Asturias, más tarde Carlos IV, el 5 de septiembre de 1765; fueron reyes entre 1788 y 1808; falleció en el exilio, en Roma, el 2 de enero de 1819, unos días antes q

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