Antoinette Brandeis, born in Miskowitz in Bohemia in 1848, soon moved with her mother to Prague. In the capital, she studied painting with Karel Javurek (1815-1909), beginning with landscape painting, and developing it after her move to Venice, when her mother married a nobleman from the city.
Antonietta Brandeis, having arrived in the lagoon, was immediately fascinated by its light and colours, so different from those of her childhood in Bohemia. She was one of the first women to successfully attend the Academy of Fine Arts, where she was a pupil of Michelangelo Grigoletti (1801-1870) and Pompeo Marino Molmenti (1819-1894).
Views of Venice: a vivacious and loose painting
Having won several prizes during her years of study at the Academy, Brandeis exhibited a series of views inspired by Venice, her adopted city. With a fresh eye and a bright, fast painting style, he produced paintings and watercolours such as Gondola and Traghetto a San Geremia.
Above all, he wins the hearts of foreign collectors who, fascinated by the beauty of the Lagoon, wish to take a pictorial memory of it with them. For this reason, Antonietta Brandeis’ works are almost all small-format tablets, often 25 x 15 cm, so that they can be easily transported.
Scenes of everyday life are set in airy landscapes with canals, Venetian churches, bridges and boats, with a strong attention to detail, yet with a remarkable ability to give an overall view.
Antonietta Brandeis graduated in 1872 and continued to exhibit throughout the nineties, not only in Venice, but also in Verona, Florence, Rome and above all in Croatia, where she achieved enormous success with her sacred works. At the end of the nineteenth century she followed her husband to Florence, but did not stop painting and exhibiting in Italy and abroad, even if she did so less frequently. In 1909, when her husband died, she lived alone in Florence, retiring to private life.
Fortune on the international market
Thanks to her frequent travels, the vedutista cannot be identified solely with her works related to Venice, but also with her views of Rome, Verona and Florence. She was also famous for her interior painting, particularly of churches, perspectives painted with an impeccable descriptive acumen that was the source of her fortune on the international market, which had always been very keen on finished paintings in the neo-Flemish taste.
The Revoltella Museum in Trieste houses Traghetto a San Geremia. Other fundamental works are Excavations of Mount Palatine in Rome, The Spanish Steps, Ponte Vecchio, The Boboli Gardens, The Feast of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice, The Rialto Herbery in Venice, San Giorgio Maggiore, Scuola Grande di San Marco, Palazzo Contarini, Interior of the Baptistery of San Marco, Punta della Dogana, The Tiber and Castel Sant’Angelo, The Trevi Fountain.