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Antonietta Brandeis was a Czech-born Italian painter of mostly landscape, portraits, and genre scenes, she also executed some religious paintings for altarpieces. Brandeis was also one of the first female artists ever allowed to receive fine-arts education in Italy.
Antonietta Brandeis, also known as Antonie Brandeisova, was born in January 1848, in Miskovice, Czech Republic. The earliest bibliographical register of her is from when she was mentioned as Czech artist Karel Javurrek’s pupil. After her father’s death, Brandeis’ mother married a Venetian nobleman, Giovanni Nobile Scaramella, and the whole family moved to Venice shortly after.
At the Venetian Academy of Fine Arts, there is a record stating Brandeis enrolling as an art student in 1867. At that time, she was around nineteen years old and was one of the first women ever to receive academic education in fine arts in Italy. Women would only conquer legal rights to receive fine arts instructions only by 1875, after a Ministry decision. By that time, Brandeis would already finish her studies at the Academy.
During her first year at the Academy, Brandeis’ skill was already recognized and won her many prizes in Life Drawing and Perspective. During the five years Brandeis studied at the Academy, she won several awards, including Art History, Sculpture Drawing, Anatomical Drawing, Perspective, Life Drawing, and Landscape.
For a period, Brandeis showed her artwork under the name “Antonio Brandeis,” for regardless of her artistic prowesses and well-received her pictures were, she would often be praised for her work “as a woman,” which profoundly annoyed her. She wanted to be perceived and judged as an artist in her own rights, without a condescending judgment.
From 1878 to 1893, Brandeis executed and exhibited several artworks; although she traveled thoroughly around Italian cities, she painted mostly Venetian scenes. She lived mainly in Venice and often visited major Italian cities such as Bologna, Verona, Rome, Florence, Turin, and Milan.
When she was 49, Brandeis married Antonio Zamboni, a Venetian officer and knight of the Italian Crown. The couple would reside in Venice as Brandeis exhibited in Rome, Florence, and Rome. Her husband Antonio died in 1909. After that, Brandeis moved to her home in Florence, where she continued to paint n her studio until her death in 1926.