Antwerp, Belgium, 1546-Prague, Czech Republic, 1611
St. Margaret, St. Ursula, and St. Catherine, ca. 1583
Oil on panel.
Spranger, a native of Antwerp who trained first with Flemish artists, was profoundly influenced by the Italians, with whom he worked during his lengthy stay in Rome. These three panels of female saints are examples of the few devotional paintings he made, when he worked in the court of Rudolf II in Prague, after 1577. They demonstrate his synthesis of his native northern Europe style with Italian Mannerism. Shown with their identifying attributes, the elegant figures of the saints in strong contrapposto and their brightly colored garments are typical of Spranger’s early years at Rudolf’s court.