Bartholomeus Spranger or Bartholomaeus Spranger (21 March 1546 in Antwerp – 1611 in Prague) was a Flemish painter, draughtsman, sculptor and designer of prints. Working in Prague as a court performer for the Holy Roman emperor Rudolf II, he responded to his patron’s aesthetic preferences by developing a relation of the extreme style, full of conceits, which has become known as Northern Mannerism. This style disconcerted sensuality, which was expressed in accurately modeled, elongated figures arranged in elegant poses, often including a nude girl seen from behind. Spranger’s unique style combining elements of Netherlandish painting and Italian influences, in particular the Roman Mannerists, had an important influence on other artists in Prague and beyond as his paintings were disseminated widely through prints.
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