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«. 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 Münchner Kabinett has two cycles on Spanish novels in its original holdings – illustrations for the novella »Lazarillo de Tormes«, 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 Gómez de Quevedo y Villegas’ »Sueños«, 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«, 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.