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Anton Raphael Mengs

Born: Usti nad Labem, Bohemia (Czech Republic), 12 March 1728
Died: Rome, 29 June 1779
Nationality: German

son of painter


with father, painter Ismael Mengs; with Marco Benefial (1742-44, Rome)


1744 – moves to Dresden as portrait painter

1748 – converts to Roman Catholicism

1751 – appointed Court Painter in Dresden (fired in 1756). Leaves Dresden permanently

1752 – becomes member of Academy of St Luke, Rome based on acceptance of St Mary Magdalene (1752, Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister, Dresden)

1755 – meets Johann Joachim Winckelmann

1761-79 – court painter to Charles III (formerly King of Naples) in Madrid


Italy (mostly Rome) (1740-44, 1746-49, 1751-61)

Commissions from: 

Saxon court (Dresden); Cardinal Alessandro Albani; Charles III (King of Spain)

Important Artworks: 

Self-Portrait, 1744 (Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister, Dresden) 

Electress Maria Antonia of Bavaria, 1752 (Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister, Dresden) 

Johann Joachim Winckelmann, c. 1777(Metropolitan Museum of Art) 

Triumph of Aurora, 1762-64 (Palacio Real, Madrid) 

Portraits of Mengs

Irish sculptor Christopher Hewetson (1737-1798), also residing in Rome, made a plaster bust of Mengs in 1779 that belonged to Mengs’s personal collection. The marble version (1781) is in the Capitoline Museum, Rome.