Bartholomeus Spranger (Netherlandish, 15461611)
Pen and brown ink and wash, heightened with white, over red chalk on blue paper; 9 5/8 x 13 3/8 in. (24.5 x 33.9 cm)
Purchase, Louis V. Bell Fund and funds from various donors, 2001 (2001.107b)
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 Italianespecially Roman Manneristinfluences 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 3:110). On the other side of this sheet, Spranger drew a classically inspired battle scene.