Letter to Zdenka Braunerová, 4 September 1908

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.

Honourable Madam,
I thank you sincerely for every kind word of your beautiful letter. I recognise you in it again, as I have sensed you and admired you for years, and as I have seen you in the bright hours of our personal encounter: an artist capable of reaching the frontiers where all things of this world turn into beauty and where admiration becomes the sweet law of the heart; and as a devoted, self-denying friend whose influence lives on in the spiritual work of many fine people.
Thank you also sincerely for the kind and perhaps sisterly interest that you have shown in my work. This very interest, which is shared by your precious friends – as I am deeply grateful and touched to learn from your letter – brings much comfort to the life of this lonely man. This year, however, I must refrain from making the application to which you refer. My health has been poor in recent years, and it is possible that my leave of absence may come about naturally for health reasons. It will be more suitable for me, as things are today, than to accept any remuneration from the public for work which I cannot guarantee in advance would meet the expectations placed upon it. In an art like mine, everything is a gift, and nothing can be promised or predicted; it seems to me as if
everything grows or subsides in accordance with its own law, to some extent independently of my will.
But please be assured, dear Madam, that I can appreciate the full beauty of your selfless intervention, and that I regard with grateful reverence your esteemed friends, Dr. Bráf and his wife, who, inspired by your good word, have looked at my work and offered a helping hand with a tender generosity that is never to be forgotten...
You are all very kind and everything is like an incredible dream... I send you my warmest and most devoted regards.
Otokar Březina
Jaroměřice, 4 September 1908
Subject: Others
Author: Březina, Otokar
Title: Letter to Zdenka Braunerová, 4 September 1908
Origin: Zdenka Braunerová collection
Licence: Free license

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