Artist: Raphael Morghen (Italian, Naples 1758–1833 Florence)
Artist: After Anton Raphael Mengs (German, Ústi nad Labem (Aussig) 1728–1779 Rome)
Medium: Engraving and etching
Dimensions: Image: 19 3/4 x 29 15/16 in. (50.2 x 76 cm)
Sheet: 24 13/16 x 34 7/8 in. (63 x 88.6 cm)
Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1928
Accession Number: 28.22.36
One of the most significant commissions of the eighteenth century was the Parnassus painted by Mengs in 1761 for the Villa Albani, Rome, and hailed as a manifesto of the new style of Neoclassicism. The carefully differentiated Muses, accompanied by their mother, Mnemosyne, derive from ancient sculpture, while the setting, a small grove of laurels in which the Muses are grouped around their leader, harks back to Raphael's fresco in the Vatican.
Morghen was one of the most admired of the technically accomplished printmakers whose reproductions of famous paintings were enormously prized at the end of the eighteenth century.