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Classical Battle Scene; Verso: Peter and John Heal a Cripple at the Gate of the Temple

Artist:
Bartholomeus Spranger (Netherlandish, Antwerp 1546–1611 Prague)
Date:
ca. 1590
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, heightened with white, over red chalk on blue paper. Partially visible framing lines in pen and brown ink on left and bottom edges
Dimensions:
9 5/8 x 13 3/8 in. (24.5 x 33.9 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Louis V. Bell Fund and funds from various donors, 2001
Accession Number:
2001.107a, b
Not on view
Painter, draftsman, printmaker, and sculptor, Bartholomeus Spranger was one of the most important artists at the court of Rudolf II in Prague. He is best known for the unification of Netherlandish and Italian–especially Roman Mannerist–influences in his art. Born into a wealthy Antwerp merchant family, Spranger began studying Italian art in Antwerp via engravings after Parmigianino. After a brief period spent working in Paris, he traveled to Italy, arriving in Rome in 1566. There, Spranger painted landscapes and also assisted Federico Zuccaro at the Villa Farnese in Caprarola. Pope Pius V became his primary patron and appointed him a papal painter in 1570. The drawing seen here, sketched in a rapid and free manner, illustrates the New Testament story of Peter and John healing a lame man at the entrance to the Temple (Acts 3:1–10). On the other side of this sheet, Spranger drew a classically inspired battle scene.
Inscription: At lower right, inscribed "gioseffo cesari detto / Gioseffo Cesare detto Cavalier d'arpin" in pen and brown ink; at lower right, inscribed "Tourner" in graphite. Verso: at upper right, inscribed "Arpino/274" in graphite; at lower right, inscribed "Bourgion" in pen and brown ink; at lower right, inscribed "P020093" in graphite; at lower right, inscribed "274" in graphite

Marking: At lower right, the collector's mark of E. Calando (Lugt 837)
Emile Calando (Paris, 1850–1900); sale, Sotheby's, New YorkJanuary 26, 2000, lot 29; With Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich; Vendor: Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Bartholomeus Spranger: Splendor and Eroticism in Imperial Prague," November 3, 2014–February 1, 2015.

Old Master Drawings. Sale cat. Sotheby's, New York, New York, January 26, 2000, cat. no. 29, ill.



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