MENGS, Anton Raphael
(b. 1728, Aussig, d. 1779, Roma)

Archduke Ferdinand and Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria

Oil on canvas, 147 x 96 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

The two children portrayed here were the children of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Leopold of Habsburg - who became Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1790 - and Maria Luisa of Bourbon, daughter of Charles III. This commission might have come from the Spanish monarch, who wanted a portrait of his grandchildren, painted in Florence in 1770. Ferdinand (1769-1824), standing, is playing with the chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece on his chest, showing it to the viewer, while his sister (1770-1809), sitting on a chair-throne, is holding an ivory ring in her right hand.