Petr Brandl — Baroque Master of Canvas

Petr Brandl — Baroque Master of Canvas

The National Gallery is preparing for the 350th anniversary of the Baroque artist’s birth

HomeWhat's NewPetr Brandl — Baroque Master of Canvas
In 2018, it has been 350 years since the artist who lifted the limits of art in Central-European Baroque was born. Brandl gave Baroque art a typical figure, colour tones and landscape. The National Gallery is commemorating his birth by publishing a comprehensive book of his work and this is an invitation to see his work with your own eyes! We will tell you where you can see his artwork.

Who Petr Brandl was

Petr Brandl was born in Prague in 1668; his father was a tailor and he later owned a pub. The artist-to-be studied at the Jesuit grammar school next to St. Nicholas in the Lesser Town of Prague, however, he did not finish school. He was accepted into the workshop of the court artist and inspector of the imperial castle art gallery in Prague. The talented artist was in demand and he made good money, but he also spent a lot of money and he had issues with creditors and disputes with almost everyone he came into contact with for most of his life. The richest people ordered works of art from him, such as Count Franz Anton von Sporck, who had the Kuks Baroque hospital built.

Brandl was a bohemian and he was vital even when he got old. He was a true extravagant bohemian and he never stopped living beyond his means. He had debts everywhere he went, for example in one of the shops in Lesser Town where he owed money for tobacco, Spanish wine and expensive powder. He even owed money for rackets and balls in the local tennis shop. However, he did not care: the important thing was that he played with the nobility and had opportunities to establish important business contacts.

Schwarzenberg Palace – the spot for all Baroque lovers

In the Schwarzenberg Palace right next to Prague Castle, there is a permanent exposition of the National Gallery under the title Art from the Rudolfine Era to the Baroque in Bohemia. There you can see about 160 sculptures and 280 paintings of late Renaissance and Baroque art, from the end of the 16th century to the 18th century. The exposition is organised according to the style of early, high and late Baroque. You can meet with the works of art of Petr Brandl face to face (his self-portrait is also there), as well as other artists of this effervescent style: sculptors Matthias Bernard Braun, who made dozens of sculptures in Kuks or on the Charles Bridge in Prague, and Ferdinand Maximillian Brokoff, whose work you can also admire on the Charles Bridge; or artists Karel Škréta and Hans von Aachen.

In the footsteps of Petr Brandl

If you would like to walk in the footsteps of this Baroque bohemian, you would have to travel through the whole Czech Republic. He was an extremely productive artist and thus we have only picked his most important works of art: visit the pilgrim’s area of Svatá Hora near Příbram, because his painting of the local Prague Chapel is one of his first works. Do not miss the Church of St. John the Baptist in Manětín, where Petr Brandl painted the main altar, or the picture gallery in the monastery in Vyšší Brod. You will find more of his works there. However, if you are in Prague and short of time, you can stop by in the Church of St. Clement in Klementinum, or the Church or St. Margaret in the Břevnov Monastery.