Friday, April 06, 2018

Bartholomus Spranger

I have been reading Danubia, the story of the Hapsburg family / dynasty. It is fascinating. The Holy Roman Empire (which -as the famous saying goes - was neither Roman, Holy nor an Empire) was normally run by the Hapsburgs (an electoral "Empire"). The Hapsburg dynasty included the Spanish side and the Central European side, which split.

But, I digress.

One of the more interesting cul de sacs the story takes is with Rudolph II who moved the seat of the Empire to Prague, where he was attended by a menagerie of con men and fakers.

He had an interesting painter, Bartholomeus Spranger, who was deep into the wildness of the times.  I have looked at Spranger's paintings and I kind of love them.  The impossible-ness of the gods within. I am sure you could devote a long time to learning the iconography of the paintings - but I think they are wildly overdone and cool on some level.

In particular, there is a wildness of sex and eroticism that is brought on by success in battle. It is bizarre in the best sense of the word.

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