Sophie Brzeska Landscape with Houses and Sun Unknown


Born 1872
Died 1925
Nationality Polish

Sophie Brzeska was born in 1872 in the village of Łączki Brzeskie, Poland, into a large family of noble descent. Despite a difficult upbringing and lack of access to education, she was an avid reader, which later helped her gain employment as a governess and teacher. Brzeska is known primarily as a writer. She was the companion and artistic collaborator of the artist Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891–1915) The two shared an intense relationship and a surname even though they were never married. Their letters reveal an unconventional bohemian couple experiencing poverty and ill health. Brzeska did not train as an artist but enjoyed making rapid sketches of the outdoors. In 1922 her mental health became progressively worse, and she was committed to the Gloucester Mental Hospital where she was certified ‘insane’ at the time of her death in 1925. After her death, art collector, artist and curator Jim Ede acquired her estate in 1927. While Brzeska remained committed to her career as a writer all her life, she was never published during her lifetime. Her first and only published work, Matka and Other Writings, a collection of manuscripts, was published posthumously in 2008.