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

Bartholomeus Spranger Netherlandish

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.

Classical Battle Scene; Verso: Peter and John Heal a Cripple at the Gate of the Temple, Bartholomeus Spranger (Netherlandish, Antwerp 1546–1611 Prague), Pen and brown ink, brush and 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

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