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Bartholomaus Spranger
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A Flemish painter, sculptor, printmaker and draftsman known for his Mannerist style, Bartholomeus Spranger is chiefly remembered as a court painter to Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612) in Prague during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Born in Antwerp in 1546, Spranger was apprenticed to Jan Mandyn (ca. 1500-ca. 1559) and then worked under Frans Mostaert (ca. 1528/1529-1560) and probably Cornelis van Dalem (ca. 1530-1573). At the age of nineteen Spranger went briefly to Paris, then worked in Milan and Parma. He arrived in Rome in 1566, where he was introduced to Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (1520-1589), for whom he worked on the Palazzo Farnese. Pope Pius V (1504-1572) became his patron in 1570. Spranger to Vienna in 1575 to work for Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II (1527-1576) and for his successor, Rudolf II, and followed when the Emperor moved his court to Prague in 1583. Spranger lived and worked in Prague for the rest of his life and became very successful. His work became well-known throughout Europe through reproductive engravings done by a variety of artists. He first created an oil sketch, St. Luke Painting the Virgin Mary (Munich: Alte Pinakothek) for an engraving in 1582 by Raphael Sadeler I (1560/1561-1628/1632; Holl. 65) and many other engravings followed. Spranger died in Prague in 1611. (TNB 11/2104) Selected bibliography: Metzler, Sally. Bartholomeus Spranger: Splendor and Eroticism in Imperial Prague. Exhibition catalog. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014.