Sprangher, Bartholomew

, a German painter, was the son of a merchant, and born at Antwerp in 1546. He was brought up under variety of masters, and then went to Rome, where cardinal Farnese took him into his service, and afterwards recommended him to pope Pius V. He was employed at Belvidere, and spent thirty-eight months in drawing the picture of “The Day of Judgment;” which picture is said to be still ovtr that pope’s tomb. While he was working upon it, Vasari told his holiness that “whatever Sprangher did was so much time lost;” yet the pope commanded him to go on. After a great number of pictures done in several parts of Rome, he returned to Germany, and became chief painter to the emperor Maximilian II. and was so much respected by his successor Rodolphus, that he presented him with a gold chain and medal, allowed him a pension, honoured him and his posterity with the title of nobility, lodged him in his own palace, and would not suffer him to paint for any body but himself. After many years continuance in his court, he obtained leave to visit his own country; and accordingly went to Antwerp, Amsterdam, Haerlem, and several other places; and having had the satisfaction of seeing his own works highly admired, and his manner almost universally followed in all those parts, as well as in Germany, he returned to Prague, and died at a good old age, in 1623. Fuseli says that Sprangher may be considered as the head of that series of artists who, disgusted by the exility and minuteness of method then reigning in Germany, imported from the schools of Florence, Venice, and Lombardy, that mixed style which marks all the performances executed for the courts of Prague, Vienna, and Munich, bv himself, John ab Ach, Joseph Heinz, Christopher Schwartz, &c. Colour and breadth excepted, it was a style more conspicuous for | Italian blemishes than beauties, and in design, expression, and composition, soon deviated to the most outrageous manner. 1


Argenville, vol.III.—Pilkingtou.—Strutt.