BRAMER, Leonaert
(b. 1596, Delft, d. 1674, Delft)

The Adoration of the Magi

Oil on panel, 43 x 53 cm
Institute of Arts, Detroit

Bramer is best remembered today for his small nocturnal scenes illuminated by phosphorescent colours and streaks of light. His contemporaries considered him an outstanding wall painter and, he was one of the artists commissioned by Frederik Hendrik to help decorate his hunting lodge at Honselaarsdijk, and he also received several other important commissions. Bramer was one of the few seventeenth-century Dutch artists who painted frescoes in Holland; none have survived the Dutch climate.

Bramer's name has been invoked in connection with Rembrandt's early phase. The question of whether Bramer's early night scenes influenced Rembrandt, or if Rembrandt inspired Bramer's late works, is best answered negatively. The resemblance between their works is superficial. It is safe to say both artists arrived at their results independently.