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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).

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 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

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

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.

Study for the dead Christ
Black chalk, Touches of white chalk on ivory laid paper. 1768
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Study for the dead Christ
Black chalk, Touches of white chalk on ivory laid paper. 1768
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Neoclassical painter Anton Raphael Mengs spent some eleven years in Spain -from 1761 to 1769, and again from 1774 to 1777- working primarily on the decoration of Madrid’s Royal Palace for King Charles III. For the king’s bedroom, Mengs made a series of easel paintings on the Passion of Christ -most importantly, Descent from the Cross, Patrimonio Nacional, on permanent loan to the Museu Nacional d’

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