Mengs, Anton Raphael (1728-1779)

"Mengs, Anton Raphael (1728-1779)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 28th April 2011

Anton Raphael Mengs, German painter and theorist, was born in Aussig, Bohemia in 1728 and died in Rome in 1779. His first teacher was his father Ismael, a painter and a miniaturist from Dresden, working for the court of August III of Saxony, who in 1741 sent him to Rome, where Anton Raphael could complete his artistic formation studying the ancient art and the works of great Italian masters. After a short sojourn in Dresden, where he began his activity as a painter, Mengs returned in Italy, first in Venice and then in Rome for good. Here he occupied quite notable place in neo-Classic orientation, stimulated by friendship and cultural exchange with J.J.Winckelmann. In 1754 he became a professor of Accademia Capitolina, where diffused the new ideals. He gave them form in his Parnaso (1761) on the ceiling of the gallery of Villa Albani. In 1762 in Zurich were publish his Thoughts about the beauty, his most important theoretic work dedicated to the principals of ancient art and new classicism. The activity of a painter and theorist assured him a big fame during his life: frescoes in the church Sant'Eusebio in Rome (1757-1758); frescoes in the Palazzo Reale in Madrid (executed during two sojourns of 1761-1767 and 1774-1777); numerous portraits and self-portraits, like Portrait of Winckelmann (New York, Metropolitan Nus. of Art, 1761-1762).

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