Antonietta Brandeis, 1849 – 1920, CZECH
The Bridge of Sighs
Oil on panel
21.5 by 12cm., 8½ by 4¾in. (2)
The Bridge of Sighs is an enclosed bridge made of white limestone. It has windows with stone bars, passes over the Rio di Palazzo, and connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace.
The view from the Bridge of Sighs was the last view of Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment. The bridge’s name, given by Lord Byron, comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells. In reality, the days of inquisitions and summary executions were over by the time the bridge was built. More on The Bridge of Sighs
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 in Miskovice in Eastern Europe. The first bibliographical indication of Antonietta Brandeis dates from her teens, when she is mentioned as a pupil of the Czech artist Karel Javurek 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.
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. More on Antonietta Brandeis
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