Description of the picture:
Portrait of Cardinal Dzelad – Anton Rafael Mengs. Panel, oil. 90 x 66 cm
Anton Mengs is famous for his frescoes and paintings on religious subjects. By this he became famous, gained fame and the position of chief court painter. But also as a portrait painter, Anton Rafael Mengs is interesting for his contemporaries and for posterity.
Mengs is in the midst of the events of the courtyard and, of course, he has many patrons and admirers of creativity who dream of receiving paintings with his autograph. The kings of Spain, Saxony and their families posed for Mengsu. His portraits of the great, omnipotent and influential people of that time are vivid and painted with the highest skill. Portrait of Cardinal Francesco Saverio de Zelada confirmation of this.
The painting was painted in 1773, the year when Bishop de Dzelad was appointed by His Grace Cardinal of the main administrative organ of the Holy See and the Vatican. Mengs has always been distinguished by the ability to convey in ceremonial portraits the importance and power of statesmen, while not losing their individuality, humanity and characteristic features inherent in this particular model.
The cardinal in a white and red cloak draped over her shoulders is looking at us. The background behind is monophonic, not distracting attention from the figure of the clergyman. The portrait does not create the impression of pomposity. Perhaps due to the fact that the tiara (this is the main symbol of vestments in the Roman Catholic Church) is not on the head, but in the hands of the posing. Or maybe it’s from the kind, all-understanding gaze of the cardinal and a slight smile. The author paints the cardinal’s very natural and lively face, high forehead and wise eyes of a highly educated person of that time.
Thanks to the talent of Mengs with his classical approach to painting, with soft and smooth “Raphael” lines, we have come up with excellent canvases with realistic images of many famous people of the 18th century."