Antonietta Brandeis (also known as Antonie Brandeisova and Antonio Brandeis) (1848–1926), was a Czech-born Italian landscape, genre and portrait painter, as well as a painter of religious subjects for altarpieces.
She was born on January 13, 1848, in Miskovice (near Kutná Hora) in Bohemia, Austria-Hungary. The first bibliographical indication of Antonietta Brandeis dates from her teens, when she is mentioned as a pupil of the Czech artist Karel Javůrek of Prague. After the death of Brandeis' father, her mother, Giuseppina Dravhozvall, married the Venetian Giovanni Nobile Scaramella; shortly afterward the family apparently moved to Venice.
In the 1867 registry of the Venetian Academy of Fine Arts, Brandeis is listed as being enrolled as an art student. At this time, Brandeis would have been nineteen, and one of the first females to receive academic instruction in the fine arts in Italy. In fact, the Ministry granted women the legal right to instruction in the fine arts only in 1875, by which time Brandeis had finished her education at the Academy.
Brandeis’s professors at the Venetian Academy of Fine Arts include Michelangelo Grigoletti and Napoleone Nani for life drawing, Domenico Bresolin for landscape, Pompeo Marino Molmenti for painting and Federico Moja for perspective. Already during her first years of study there is evidence of Brandeis' skill-in her first year she is awarded prizes and honors in Perspective and Life Drawing. Brandeis’ continuing excellence and diligence in her artistic studies during the five years she spends at the Academy is attested to in the lists of prize-winning students of the Academy “Elenco alunni premiati Accademia Venezia in Atti della Reale Accademia di Belle Arti in Venezia degli anni 1866-1872”. It includes numerous mentions of prizes and high honours won by Brandeis in Art History, Perspective, Life Drawing, Landscape and Anatomical Drawing, Drawing of Sculpture, and “Class of Folds”.
It is in Venice at the Academy that Brandeis perfected her skills as a meticulous landscape and cityscape painter, with intricate and luminous details in the tradition of the eighteenth-century “vedutisti”. In 1870, while still a student at the Academy, she participated in her first exhibition; that of the Società Veneta Promotrice di Belle Arti with the oil painting Cascina della Madonna di Monte Varese. She is documented as having exhibited eight paintings during the years 1872 to 1876 with the Società Veneta Promotrice di Belle Arti, both landscapes and genre scenes. In the exhibit of 1875 her landscape Palazzo, Marin Falier is sold to M. Hall of London for 320 lire, a first indication of the success Brandeis will achieve with foreign collectors of her work (particularly the English and German visitors to Italy on the Grand Tour circuit). During these same years, she showed two paintings in the Florentine exhibit Promotrice Fiorentina. The first painting, entitled “Gondola” is a subject which she repeats in new variations throughout her career with great success. The second, perhaps a genre painting, is entitled “Buon dì !” The two paintings remained unsold and were presented at the same exhibition the following year, together with two more genre scene paintings.
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