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  • "Bramer"
    Type: inscription
    Location: bottom
    Materials: graphite
  • "35"
    Type: inscription
    Location: top center
    Materials: pen and brown ink
  • James Bowdoin III( Collector, Boston) - 1811.
  • Bowdoin College Museum of Art( Museum, Brunswick, Maine) 1811- . Bequest
  • Old Master Drawings at Bowdoin College
    • Bowdoin College Museum of Art. ( 5/17/1985 - 7/7/1985)
    • Clark Art Institute. ( 9/14/1985 - 10/27/1985)
    • University of Kansas. ( 1/19/1986 - 3/2/1986)
    • Art Gallery of Ontario. ( 5/17/1986 - 6/29/1986)
  • Nature and Imagination: Dutch Art of the 17th Century
    • University of New Hampshire. ( 10/27/1982 - 12/8/1982)
  • Baroque Drawings
    • Bowdoin College Museum of Art. ( 2/3/1981 - 3/5/1981)
  • Drawing on Basics
    • Bowdoin College Museum of Art. ( 10/14/1993 - 12/19/1993)
  • Why Draw? 500 Years of Drawings and Watercolors at Bowdoin College
    • Bowdoin College Museum of Art. ( 5/3/2017 - 9/3/2017)
Type: catalogue
Author: Henry Johnson
Document Title: Catalogue of the Bowdoin College Art Collections
Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
Reference: no. 73
Publisher: Bowdoin College
Section Title: Pt. I, The Bowdoin Drawings
Date: 1885

Author: F. J. Mather, Jr.
Document Title: Art in America, vol. II, no. 2
Location: pp. 108-125
Section Title: Drawings by Old Masters at Bowdoin College Ascribed to Northern Schools:  II
Date: 1914

Type: catalogue
Author: Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Document Title: Bowdoin Museum of Fine Arts, Walker Art Building
Edition: 4th
Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
Reference: no. 63
Publisher: Bowdoin College
Section Title: Descriptive Catalogue of the . . .
Date: 1930
Type: exhibition catalogue
Author: David P. Becker
Document Title: Old Master Drawings at Bowdoin College
Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
Location: pp. 38-39
Reference: no. 16
Publisher: Bowdoin College
Date: 1985

This drawing presumably comes from a series of New Testament or Passion scenes, indicated by the number 35 on the verso, and dated to ca. 1650–1655 (Plomp, 312). A sheet of similar dimensions and style showing the Deposition is in Darmstadt and is numbered 22. Leonard Bramer very often (as he does here) experimented with close variations of the same subject. The composition seems to be influenced by Andrea Mantegna's (1430/1–1506) famous painting of the dead Christ now in the Brera, Milan (fig. 1) or that of Orazio Borgianni (ca. 1575-1616) in the Galleria Spada (fig. 2), which Bramer could have seen (Fox Hofrichter, 94).

Bramer's drawing style is quite recognizable in its rough sketchiness and lack of detailed finish. There is no identified painting of this subject in the early catalogue raisonné of the artist (Wichmann 1923). There is, however, a related drawing at Yale University Art Gallery (fig. 3) of the body of Christ mourned by angels and dated to the 1630s (Fox Hofrichter, 92). Bauch, in a letter to David P. Becker, called both sides of the drawing "typical examples of Bramer's earlier Italianizing style.”

David P. Becker (edited by Sarah Cantor)


Fox Hofrichter, Frima. Leonaert Bramer 1596-1674: A Painter of the Night. Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University, 1992.

Plomp, Michiel. “List of Drawing Sets.” In Ten Brink Goldsmith, Jane, Paul Huys Janssen, Michiel Kersten, John Michael Montias, Michiel Plomp, and Adrienne Quarles van Ufford. Leonaert Bramer 1596-1674: Ingenious Painter and Draughtsman in Rome and Delft, 311-19. Zwolle: Uitgeverij Waanders, 1994.

Wichmann, Heinrich. Leonaert Bramer, sein Leben und seine Kunst: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der holländischen Malerei zur Zeit Rembrandts. Leipzig: K.W. Hiersemann, 1923.

Artist Biography:

Born in Leonaert Bramer traveled extensively in France and Italy from 1614 until 1628. He spent six years in Rome, where he was particularly influenced by Caravaggesque painters like Adam Elsheimer (1578-1610) and Gerrit van Honthorst (1592-1656). After his return, Bramer entered the Guild of St. Luke in Delft in 1629 and served as its governor several times. He painted many wall and ceiling decorations for the Stadholder Frederick Henry and his family in their palaces, and even executed frescoes, which have not survived because of the Dutch climate. Dramatically lit nocturnal scenes and biblical, mythological, and historical narratives are characteristic of his painted work. Bramer was a prolific draughtsman, often executing extensive series of biblical and literary illustrations.

David P. Becker (edited by Sarah Cantor)

Commentary credited to David P. Becker (or not otherwise captioned) appeared in his catalogue Old Master Drawings at Bowdoin College (Brunswick: Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 1985).