Old master drawing, Bartholomeus Spranger -attributed - studio?
Dimensions: 22,5 x 31 cm
Bartholomeus Spranger or Bartholomaeus Spranger (21 March 1546 in Antwerp - 1611 in Prague) was a Flemish painter, draughtsman, sculptor, and designer of prints. Working in Prague as a court artist for the Holy Roman emperor Rudolf II, he responded to his patron's aesthetic preferences by developing a version of the extreme style, full of conceits, which has become known as Northern Mannerism. This style stressed sensuality, which was expressed in smoothly modeled, elongated figures arranged in elegant poses, often including a nude woman seen from behind. Spranger's unique style combining elements of Netherlandish painting and Italian influences, in particular the Roman Mannerists, had an important influence on other artists in Prague and beyond as his paintings were disseminated widely through prints
The Flemish artist Bartholomeus Spranger (1546-1611) was a master of Mannerism, serving a cardinal, a pope, and two Holy Roman Emperors-most notably, as court painter for Rudolf II in Prague. Unlike most artists of the period, he defies classification as "Northern" or "Southern"; instead, Spranger became one of the first truly international artists, achieving his greatest success in Central Europe after spending a crucial decade in Italy. Favoring an elegant style, virtuoso technique, and erotically charged subjects, he was particularly celebrated for his amorously entwined nudes. In addition, he created paintings, drawings, and prints of evocative religious and political allegories, as well as atmospheric landscapes and a few rare portraits, all of which offer an abundance of visual pleasure.
Despite the widespread fame and influence he attained during his lifetime, Spranger has become an elusive and misunderstood figure. Bartholomeus Spranger: Splendor and Eroticism in Imperial Prague is the first book in English to be devoted to his art and life. It contains four sections-on paintings, drawings, etchings, and engravings related to his work-that chronicle his stylistic genesis and capture the complexity of his prolific oeuvre. Examining Spranger's career against the backdrop of European culture, politics, and intellectual history, the book traces his artistic journey from Antwerp to Prague, with sojourns along the way in France, Italy, and Vienna. The detailed catalogue entries, including several newly discovered works, illuminate his development and reshape our understanding of it. The result is a major contribution to art history, restoring Bartholomeus Spranger to his rightful position as one of the most important and influential artists of the era.