Anton Raphael Mengs


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Author: Anton Raphael Mengs
Portraiture, Painting, Oil on panel, 102x77 cm
Origin: Germany, Circa 1775

Winner of numerous honours, member of many European academies and head of both the Roman Academy of St Luke and the Madrid San Fernando Academy, in his self-portrait Anton Raphael Mengs avoids any sense of officialdom and status, seeking above all to show the creative individual. He depicts himself with the attributes of a painter - the folder of drawings, the brush, the careless bohemian attire - and chooses to capture a moment of inner, creative tension. The spread hand, shown in complicated foreshortening, seems to be turned towards an unseen interlocutor, with whom the artist is in dialogue. This self-portrait reveals Mengs to be an excellent portraitist and reminds us that the artist was the leader of the Neoclassicists in Rome, the theoretician of the new style and author of works on aesthetics. The painting repeats a self-portrait which Mengs painted in 1774 .

Style: Neo-Classicism
Source of entry: acquired from the author by Catherine II
Exibition: German Art: 15th - 18th centuries

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