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The Archduke Francis of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1770
Mengs, Anton Raphael
The Archduke Francis of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1770
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Francis of Austria (1768-1835) was the son of Leopold and Maria Luisa, Grand Duke and Duchess of Tuscany, and the grandson of Charles III of Spain. He was the last Holy Roman Emperor, becoming the first Emperor of Austria. Francis was also the father-in-law of Napoleon. He is depicted wearing the emblem of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

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.

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

Maria Luisa of Spain, Grand Duchess of Tuscany
Oil on canvas. 1770
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Maria Luisa of Spain, Grand Duchess of Tuscany
Oil on canvas. 1770
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Daughter of Charles III of Spain and Maria Amalia of Saxony, the sitter was born in Naples in 1745. In 1765 she married Leopold of Austria, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and bore sixteen children, including the Emperor Francis II. The sitter is depicted wearing an elegant grey silk dress, highlighted with lace, bows and other details, all executed in a notably virtuoso technique. The canvas forms a pair

Charles III
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1774
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Charles III
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1774
Mengs, Anton Raphael

A solemn prototype of the effigy of Charles III, who stands in armour in front of a purple hanging and a column, traditional symbols of royal power. Replica of P02200, on the occasion of the foundation of the Royal Order of Carlos III.

Archduke Ferdinand and Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1770 - 1771
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Archduke Ferdinand and Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1770 - 1771
Mengs, Anton Raphael

The two children portrayed here were the children of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Leopold of Habsburg –who became Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1790–, and Maria Luisa of Bourbon, daughter of Charles III. This commission might have come from the Spanish monarch, who wanted a portrait of his grandchildren, painted in Florence in 1770. Ferdinand (1769-1824), standing, is playing with the chain of

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.

Archduke Leopold of Austria, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Oil on canvas. 1770
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Archduke Leopold of Austria, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Oil on canvas. 1770
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Second son of the Empress Maria Teresa and of Francis I, the sitter was born in 1747. He succeeded his brother Joseph II, who died without heir in 1790, as emperor of Germany and died in 1792. Brother of Marie Antoinette, Leopold attempted to raise a coalition of forces against the French Revolutionary regime. This portrait, together with those of his wife (P-2199) and their children, was painted

Javier of Bourbon and Saxony, Infante of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1767
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Javier of Bourbon and Saxony, Infante of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1767
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Francisco Javier (1757-1771), youngest son of Charles III and Maria Amalia of Saxony, was painted by Mengs in the Palace of San Ildefonso, Segovia, as were his brothers, Antonio and Gabriel. The pose and expression are particularly natural and the traditional accessories of royal portraiture are reduced to the column, curtain and insignias of the Orders of the Golden Fleece, Santiago and San Genna

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

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.

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).

Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1771
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1771
Mengs, Anton Raphael

In portraits of female subjects, Anton Rafael Mengs displays a warm and gentle quality, more Rococo in tone than the slightly academic coldness marking his historical and mythological compositions. The eldest daughter of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany and a granddaughter of Charles III, the Archduchess María Teresa Habsburg-Lorena is shown here at full length, next to a caged parrot. Her dress,

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

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

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.

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.

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