Leonaert Bramer: Drawings from the Spanish Underworld Reply

Bramer Trials JobMunich, January 8, 2014 — Dutch Golden Age artist Leonaert Bramer (1596 –1674) was one of the most gifted and prolific draughtsmen of his time. Originally bound, his briskly sketched sequence illustrations of the escapades of beggars, adulterers and rogues are regarded as the first examples of the graphic novel in Europe.

These include cycles from the Old and the New Testaments, texts from classical Antiquity and more contemporary literature. The Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich, is home to two extensive sets of illustrations for Spanish novels which are now on display for the first time.

As a draughtsman, some 1300 sheets are attributed to Bramer today. The high number can be explained by the fact that his highly specialised work had no competitors, and nothing similar was produced at the time: his series of illustrations on mostly literary subjects were sold as one-off originals to connoisseurs and aficionados of draughtsmanship. Bramer completed a series of illustrations to accompany the Old and New Testaments, Ovid’s Metamorphosis and other ancient writings. He repeatedly also worked on lesser-known material largely neglected by other artists.



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