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 Leonard Bramer  (1596 - 1674)

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Lived/Active: Netherlands/Italy      Known for: genre and history painting, frescoes, teaching

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Ad Code: 3
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from Auction House Records.
SAINT JAMES AND HERMOGENES THE MAGICIAN
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Leonaert/Leonard Bramer alias Nestelghat was a Dutch painter, best known for probably being one of the teachers of Johannes Vermeer, although there is no similarity between their work. Bramer's dark and exotic style is unlike Vermeer's style. Bramer was primarily a genre and history painter, but also made some unique frescos, not very often found north of the Alps. Leonaert Bramer is one of the most intriguing personalities in seventeenth-century Dutch art. He was a talented and diligent draughtsman, evidently Roman Catholic and a lifelong bachelor.

Bramer was born in Delft. In 1614, at the age of 18, he left on a long trip eventually reaching Rome in 1616, via Atrecht, Amiens, Paris, Aix (February 1616), Marseille, Genoa, and Livorno. In Rome he was one of the founders of the Bentvueghels group of Northern artists. He lived with Wouter Crabeth and got into a fight with Claude Lorraine. He dedicated a poem to Wybrand de Geest. Bramer remained on and off in Rome until October 1627, visiting Mantua and Venice, often for deliveries and to meet Domenico Fetti. In Italy Bramer was nicknamed Leonardo della Notte ("Leonardo of the night"). In 1648 he went to Rome for a second time.

By 1628 he was back in Delft, where he joined the Guild of Saint Luke in 1629 and the schutterij (city guard or militia). Among his many patrons were members of the House of Orange, but local burgomasters and schepen also bought his paintings in great numbers.  He was a many sided artist, designing for tapestry firms in Delft, painting murals and ceilings, some of which are illusionistic in style. He painted real frescos in the Civic Guard house, the nearby stadholder's palaces in Honselersdijk, Rijswijk, the Communal Land Housde and the Prinsenhof in Delft. Due to the Dutch climate they no longer survive.

He evidently knew the greatest of his Delft contemporaries, Johannes Vermeer, as he came to the latter's defense when his future mother-in-law was trying to prevent him from marrying her daughter.

Bramer remained very productive until his death, which occurred in his home town of Delft in 1674.

Source:
Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonaert_Bramer

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