Brauwer, Or Bronwer, Adrian, a Dutch painter, born at Haarlem, or at Oudenarde in East Flanders, in 1608, died in Antwerp in 1640. He first made designs of flowers and birds, which were stitched upon caps and bonnets sold to the peasants by his mother. Francis Hals, a painter of Haarlem, happening to see some of these, invited the young artist to receive instruction at his house, where he kept him hard at work in a garret, and appropriated to himself the proceeds of his pictures. Here Brauwer remained for many months, ignorant of the estimation in which his talent was held abroad, until by the assistance of his fellow pupil, Adrian Ostade, he was enabled to escape to Amsterdam, where he led a dissipated life and painted only when impelled by necessity. During the wars with Spain he started on a journey to Antwerp, but, being unprovided with a passport, he was imprisoned as a spy. The prince of Aremberg, a fellow prisoner, recognizing his talent, induced him to paint something. The subject was a group of soldiers playing at cards, which the artist sketched from his prison window; and the picture being shown to Rubens, he at once pronounced it a work of Brauwer, whose release he immediately procured, and whom he received as an inmate into his house.
Brauwer's longing for his old life, however, soon induced him to leave his protector, and after a brief career of dissipation he died in a public hospital.