Museums and Art

“The Dream of St. Joseph”, Anton Rafael Mengs - description of the painting

“The Dream of St. Joseph”, Anton Rafael Mengs - description of the painting

The Dream of St. Joseph - Anton Rafael Mengs. 114 x 86 cm

Mengs is a famous 18th-century neoclassicist painter. He is the main court painter at the court of the Saxon Elector, he is a favorite of Kings Charles III and Carlos IV, he is invited to Spain to paint the Madrid Palace, and he is also very popular in Italy.

At the heart of his work are mythological, religious subjects. So, in 1777, Mengs paints a picture of St. Joseph's Dream. This is a plot from the Gospel about the holy family - Jesus Christ, his mother Mary and righteous Joseph, who have to flee Bethlehem, fleeing the evil king Judea Herod, who ordered to kill all the babies in search of the son of God.

In the picture, the author depicted the moment when an angel went down to Joseph in a dream to warn him of the "night of the beating of infants." He orders the father of the family to quickly assemble the family, flee to Egypt and be there.

Mengs masterly conveys light and shadow on the face of tired Joseph, each wrinkle and lock of hair is perfectly written out. The seated figure is depicted on the verge of drowsiness, half-reality. The left hand is limply lowered, but the fingers still squeeze the stick.

A bright raincoat shimmers with all shades of color and light. Fabric folds are realistic and emphasize the texture of the fabric. Behind Joseph, a white angel with golden curls is so light, airy, unearthly. With gentle grace, he shows Joseph the way to Christ's salvation. The face of God's messenger in "Raphael" is gentle and beautiful.

There is nothing superfluous on this canvas. Artist Mengs is a great connoisseur of ancient art and Renaissance painting. Its compositional construction is simply flawless. And the work turned out beautiful, she is an example of classical painting and the skill of the author.

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