Letter from to Zdenka Braunerová, 19 December 1897

Zdenka Braunerová, one of the first Czech modern women painters, passed through artistic generations as an ageless, sympathetic figure but also a distinctive artist in her own right. She openly voiced her views on both older and newer art, inspired young artists, and collaborated with many local and foreign figures, including Paul Claudel and Auguste Rodin. Her influence on many artists is evident from the numerous surviving letters in which writers, artists, and critics alike tell her of their plans, artistic experiences, and life's adventures, and emphasise her influence in transforming their worldview.

T. B. C. J. K.
Chýnov, 19 December 1897.
Dear Zdenka – this is me, František, sending you once again my simple, heartfelt greetings.
I want to let you know my sincere concern: why have you not come to visit us yet? Have you been taken ill? Mr. Zeyer has not arrived yet, either, although he had announced that he would already be here four days ago. I suppose you have been delayed by the funeral of Mrs. Ž. Podlipská. I look forward to having your and Mr. Zeyer’s company during the holidays. Please send at least a brief note to put me at ease! Are you perhaps afraid that the pain of your dear soul will infect us country folk with sadness in the joyful Christmas season? I am not joking! But that, too, would be unfounded. Believe me, dear Zdenka, if I say that if anyone can understand your pain and share it with you as a brother, it is me; for this same pain has once nearly crushed my life force for good as well. Only God himself has miraculously kept me alive.
We have enjoyed beautiful weather, until recently. It was almost warm enough for us to work outdoors. Now, at last, true winter has arrived.
Foerster came home for Christmas. I asked him if he could visit us for at least one day, if at all possible, and that both you and I would advise him well.
I have awaited the “Album” so eagerly for so long, but it still has not arrived. If I could at least receive the first issue of “N. Ž.” and read your introduction, which I have heard is quite beautiful; then I would not care so much for the Album anymore. Don’t be surprised, dear soul! I have expected it to arrive on ten different occasions at least, and I’ve waited patiently. Your kind visit to me has encouraged me to continue to be patient. Then it was supposed to arrive on St. Nicholas Day, then again on the 16th of December for sure; but to this day, nothing at all! What is this supposed to mean? – How do you explain that? They intended to make me happy; and in order to achieve that state of happiness, I had to spend 5 months drawing and working hard. Finally, it was to be published after the convention, then again in September, then October, then finally in November; now December is over, and still nothing. What a farce! But I am not sad because I have not and will not lose my patience, even if I must wait even longer = and also because I accept it as something that was determined by the Lord and is His will. Except that as soon as I read your valuable introduction in N. Ž., my desire for the Album to come out will subside, which will also make me happy. Furthermore, I have promised and inquired through Mr. Hlávka, when I thanked him for the money, whether I could send one copy of the Album to his wife; and the thing is, I made that promise six weeks ago. What will that lady think of me and my promises!? –
Mrs. Svobodová has sent me 20 florins. She also promised to write me a letter. I am therefore awaiting that letter; as soon as I receive it, I intend to reply and thank her for the money.
Let me repeat: I very much look forward to spending Christmas with you and Mr. Zeyer. So please come! But rest assured that, despite my eager wishes, I will await your arrival patiently. – Sigmund promised to write me abundantly, but so far has written nothing – absolutely nothing! –
My dear Zdenka, I bid you farewell. All of us, especially me, are looking forward to seeing you.
Subject: Others
Author: Bílek, František
Title: Letter from to Zdenka Braunerová, 19 December 1897
Origin: Zdenka Braunerová collection
Licence: Free license

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