Jun 12, 2007

Portrait of Infante Don Luis de Borbon

Portrait of Infante Don Luis de Borbon

c. 1776

Anton Raphael Mengs

(German, 1728–1779)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 180.5 x 127 x 8 cm (71 1/16 x 50 x 3 1/8 in.); Unframed: 152.7 x 100 cm (60 1/8 x 39 3/8 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1966.14


As a younger child of King Philip V of Spain, Don Luis received important religious posts, including Archbishop of Toledo and Seville. However, his philandering led to losing these titles and banishment from the court, while he became a crucial avant-garde art patron, especially of Goya. The encrustations of medals and cacophonous fabrics speak to Mengs's experiments in representing status, privilege, and royal honors in the age of Enlightenment, when rational skepticism began to confront absolutist, hereditary power.

See also
Type of artwork: 
Oil on canvas

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