Václav Brožík

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Václav Brožík, by Jan Vilímek
Comenius says goodbye to Karol the Elder of Zierotin (1873)

Václav Brožík (6 March 1851, Třemošná - 15 April 1901 Paris) was a Czech painter who worked in the academic style.

Life[edit]

He came from a poor family, studying lithography and porcelain painting through apprenticeships. Beginning in 1868, with financial assistance from a local landowner, he was able to attend the art academy in Prague. He made a trip to the Netherlands, where he studied the Old Masters, then settled in Paris (despite not being able to speak French), where a letter of recommendation assured him the support of Jaroslav Čermák. In 1879 he married Hermina Sedelmeyer, daughter of the wealthy Parisian art dealer Charles Sedelmeyer.[1] For most of his life, he divided his time between Paris and Prague, where he became a Professor at the Art Academy in 1893.

He was named a member of the Institut de France, partly through the influence of his father-in-law, who also suggested that he do a painting on the theme "Tu Felix Austria Nube" (from an old saying: "Let others wage war: thou, happy Austria, marry").[2] The result pleased Emperor Franz Joseph I, who was involved in an unhappy marriage. As a result Brožík was elevated to the nobility.[1]

He also became a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, received the Grand Cross of the Légion d'Honneur[3] and was appointed to the Czech Academy of Arts and Sciences.[4] In 1893, one of his paintings appeared on a United States postage stamp.[5]

His health began to decline in 1894, but he threw himself into painting even more diligently. He died suddenly of heart failure in 1901 and was buried in Montmartre.[1] Appreciation of his work suffered a serious decline after his death, as it was considered old-fashioned, but a major retrospective in 2003 has created some renewed interest.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 4 pictures and biography at Art Renewal Center
  2. ^ The World of the Habsburgs: Tu Felix Austria Nube in context.
  3. ^ Kdo byl kdo v našich dějinách do roku 1918, by Pavel Augusta. Libri, Prague (1998) p.54 ISBN 80-8598-306-0
  4. ^ Šlechtová, Alena and Levora, Josef: Členové České akademie věd a umění 1890–1952, 2nd edition, Academia Prague (2004) ISBN 80-200-1066-1
  5. ^ Gerhard Batz: Das erste Kunstwerk eines tschechischen Künstlers auf Briefmarken (United States postage stamp based on a painting by Brožík)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]