CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Bettler, Diebe, Unterwelt: Leonaert Bramer illustriert spanische Romane

Beggars, thieves, underworld: Leonaert Bramer illustrates Spanish Novels Exhibition: 5 December 2013 - 9 March 2014

From the museum website, 27 November 2013

The Dutch artist Leonaert Bramer (1596-1674), a contemporary of Rembrandt’s, was one of the most productive draughtsmen of the ┬╗Golden Age┬ź. He fostered an unusual talent, unequalled at that time – as the draughtsman of sequences of illustrations on literary subjects that comprise dozens of sheets. Originally bound, the briskly sketched illustrations that captured the subject matter perfectly in a nutshell, are regarded as an early form of graphic novel. These include cycles from the Old and the New Testaments, texts from classical Antiquity and more contemporary literature.

The M├╝nchner Kabinett has two cycles on Spanish novels in its original holdings – illustrations for the novella ┬╗Lazarillo de Tormes┬ź, the first picaresque novel ever and ‘the’ book of folk tales in Spain to this day (73 sheets), and for a literary classic published in 1627, Francisco G├│mez de Quevedo y Villegas’ ┬╗Sue├▒os┬ź, in which bizarre visions of Hell and the Last Judgment are experienced in a dream sequence narrated in the first person (62 sheets). In addition, 49 illustrations by Bramer of Livius’ historical work ┬╗Ab urbe condita┬ź, fixed in a volume and recently acquired with the help of the Association of Friends and the Dr. Pesl-Stiftung Bayern, will also be presented.