Prague, April 4 (CTK) – An online database of the complete work of great Czech Baroque painter Petr Brandl, which the National Gallery (NG) has prepared on the forthcoming 350th anniversary of his birth, is the first such Czech project focusing on a single master, Lidove noviny (LN) wrote on Tuesday.
The database includes a biography of Brandl (1668-1735) and all available archive documents and bibliography related to him, Andrea Steckerova, the head of the project and a curator of the NG’s old art collection, said.
The online catalogue offers all works by Brandl including their technical data, information about their provenance, related literature and also X-Ray photos and reports by restorers and technology research experts, the paper writes.
Brandl is one of the best and most popular Czech Baroque painters together with Karel Skreta, Jan Kupecky and Vaclav Vavrinec Reiner.
NG’s art historians have dealt with his personality repeatedly and several books focusing on him appeared in recent years.
Brandl, who came from a family of a Prague tailor, lived a bohemian life and kept vital until a high age. A preserved bill documents his wasteful spending on costly exotic delicatessen and drinks, tobacco and powder.
Brandl was a very sought-after artist at the time. He earned a lot, but he spent even more and was permanently indebted. For example, he owed money to a Prague ball game house for rackets and balls. He evidently considered the debt unimportant. What imported was the opportunity for him to play with noblemen and gain crucial business contacts, LN writes.
Brandl also tried to earn money by investing in a gold mine in Jilove near Prague, the documents show.
They describe the circumstances of Brandl painting his pictures and the prices the customers paid for them.
Some documents also bring evidence on Brandl’s marriage. He was often at loggerheads with his wife, who sought a divorce, complaining that her husband not only fails to support their three children but also courts other women.
Brandl reportedly died lonely and in poverty in Kutna Hora near Prague, after creating numbers of paintings for noble clients as well as the Catholic Church, LN writes.