Beggars, Thieves, Underworld: Leonaert Bramer Illustrates Spanish Novels
MUNICH • Pinakothek der Moderne • Until 9 March 2014
|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, are on view.
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