Museum PR Announcements News and Information

San Diego Museum of Art Acquires Don Luis de Borbon by Anton Raphael Mengs

The San Diego Museum of Art has acquired an important oil painting of Don Luis de Borbón by Anton Raphael Mengs .

Anton Raphael Mengs, Portrait of Don Luis de Borbón, 1650-51.

Mengs (1728–1779) was famous throughout Europe during his lifetime. During the 1750s in Rome, he was the only real rival to the great portraitist Pompeo Batoni. He was also closely associated with the archaeologist and writer Johann Joseph Winckelmann, and their research into Greek art (and the art of the then-newly-rediscovered Pompeii and Herculaneum) made them key figures in the rise of Neo-Classicism, a movement intended to reject the excesses of the Baroque and Rococo style in favor of classical order and simplicity. Despite his importance as a theoretician and as a history painter, Mengs was most accomplished as a portrait painter, and his likenesses are characterized by a deft, delicate touch.

From 1761 onward, Mengs spent much of his time in Spain and was eventually named Primer Pintor (First Painter) and executed portraits of the royal family. Don Luis (1727-1785), the younger brother of King Charles III, had been destined for a career in the church and was named cardinal at age eight, although he later renounced that office and became the Count of Chinchón. Living in semi-exile outside of Madrid, he became an important patron of the arts and was responsible for commissioning, for example, Francisco de Goya’s first major works.

The San Diego Museum of Art
1450 El Prado
Balboa Park, San Diego, CA
(619) 232-7931

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *