Petr Jan Brandl (24 October 1668 Prague – 24 September 1735 Kutná Hora) was a Czech painter, one of the main representatives of the Czech baroque at its peak.
He was born to rich parents. His father was a tailor and his mother came from a farming family. After studies at the Jesuit gymnasium he got to apprenticeship to the court painter Schroder who was employed as an administrator of the castle picture gallery. It was just there, where Brandl got acquainted with pieces of artwork of significant Italian and Dutch masters. As Brandl did not travel much, this experience was vital for him. He had no other opportunity to learn pieces of artwork by European masters. He was accepted to the Old Town painters' guild in 1694.
His life was not very settled. He got married when he was 33 but left his wife and three children after fourteen years and went on living boisterously. He avoided paying alimony all his life, although his artwork was well salaried. He prodigalized all his money for good food, drinks and tabac and did not hesitate to incur debts. He kept out of his creditors in Kutna Hora where he died in poverty and abandoned. The town councillors of Kutna Hora (burgraves of mining communities) arranged for a grandiose funeral parade in honour of him.
Unrestrained life of Brandl was also reflected in his work. He had an exquisite style of sophisticated chiaroscuro and luminary sources. His work with space of picture scenes is also highly appreciated. His artwork has been amazing till today.
The Most Important Pieces of Artwork by Petr Brandl
- Baptism of Jesus on the high altar of the parish church in Manetin
- Monumental canvas Joseph and His Brothers in the castle in Jindrichuv Hradec
- Simeon with Jesus, National Gallery in Prague
- Three Kings Worship in the Castle Chapel of the Epiphany in Smirice
- The Last Communion of the Hermit Gunther of Bohemia in Brevnov monastery church
- Death of St Benedict in Brevnov monastery church
- St Lawrence and St Leonard on the altar of St Lawrence and Leonard in the St Clement Church within Prague's Clementinum
- St Joseph , St Joachim with St Anne and St Simon, pictures in the Church of Our Lady Victorious in Mala Strana (Lesser Town), Prague