Anton Raphael Mengs German

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 627

Born in Bohemia, today the Czech Republic, Mengs became an international celebrity, painting in Dresden, Rome, and Madrid in the third quarter of the eighteenth century. He was a rival to Pompeo Batoni, whose work hangs nearby, and a close friend of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, whom he painted in the portrait also at The Met. Mengs’s depictions of prominent sitters are notable for their delicacy, but his images of himself are uncompromising and direct. He painted this self‑portrait, one of three known versions, in Madrid in 1776, by which time his health had begun to fail. A symptom of his illness is seen in the discolored swelling on his forehead.

Self-Portrait, Anton Raphael Mengs (German, Ústi nad Labem (Aussig) 1728–1779 Rome), Oil on canvas

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