143
143
Leonard Bramer
A VOLUME OF FORTY-NINE DRAWINGS ILLUSTRATING LIVY´S ROMAN HISTORY
Estimate
20,00030,000
LOT SOLD. 46,875 USD
JUMP TO LOT
143
Leonard Bramer
A VOLUME OF FORTY-NINE DRAWINGS ILLUSTRATING LIVY´S ROMAN HISTORY
Estimate
20,00030,000
LOT SOLD. 46,875 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Drawings

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New York

Leonard Bramer
DELFT 1596 - 1674
A VOLUME OF FORTY-NINE DRAWINGS ILLUSTRATING LIVY´S ROMAN HISTORY
Quantity: 49
Pen and black and gray ink and grey wash over black chalk within brown ink framing lines;
all numbered in brown ink lower right;
a detailed list of contents, in the artist's hand, at the front of the volume
Each approximately 410 by 305 mm; 15 3/4 by 12 in
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

W. Snellonius,
his sale, Leiden (P. van der Aa), 24 September 1691;
with P. Rosenthal, Berlin 1923;
with Jacques Rosenthal, Munich 1927;
sale, London, Sotheby's, 2 July 1990, no. 126;
with Noortman Gallery, Maastricht & London;
Private collection, Belgium

Exhibited

Delft, Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, Leonaert Bramer, 1596 - 1674. Ingenious Painter and Draughtsman in Rome and Delft, 1994, nos. 34, 35 (Aneas fleeing Troy with his father and his son and Marcus Curtius leaping into the abyss on his horse);
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vermeer and the Delft School, nos. 106,107 (the same two sheets)

Literature

H. Wichmann, Leonart Bramer. Sein Leben und seine Kunst, Leipzig 1923, p. 181, no. 114a;
J. ten Brink Goldmsith, 'From Prose to Pictures: Leonart Bramer's Illustrations for the Aneid and Vondel's Translation of Virgil', Art History 7, March 1984, p. 33;
J. ten Brink Goldsmith et al., Leonaert Bramer, 1596 - 1674. Ingenious Painter and Draughtsman in Rome and Delft, exhib. cat., Delft, Prinsenhof, 1994, p. 314, no. 22

Catalogue Note

Bramer was one of the most prolific draughtsmen of his time and occupies a unique position in Dutch seventeenth-century art.  While many of his contemporaries were executing compositions that depcited scenes of everyday life, Bramer was more interested in portraying biblical or mythological episodes.  As the present lot testifies, Bramer is also renowned for producing drawings in illustrative sets and series.  As many as forty-two such sets are known, treating a wide variety of themes from the Bible, classical mythology, classical history and popular literature.1  The present lot is a rare example of a series surviving in an almost complete state, with only one drawing missing (no. 15, Cloelia and the other Virgins escape with the horses of the enemy and cross the Tiber.)

Dated by most scholars to 1655-60, the series originally consisted of fifty drawings illustrating Livy's epic history of Rome, Ab urbe condita.  The volume also contains at the front a full list of contents, written by Bramer himself, which is extremely useful, as many of the subjects might well otherwise prove hard to identify to a modern viewer.  A similar hand-written list of contents is also to be found in the volume containing Bramer's illustrations of Virgil's Aeneid, also formerly owned by Snellonius, and now in the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.1  The illustrations in both series are very comparable in terms of their compositional and figure types. 

1.  Ten Brink Goldsmith et al., pp. 183, 202-5, 311-320 
2.  Idem, p. 316, no. 24

Old Master Drawings

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New York