Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Elisabeth Fraser, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sheramy Bundrick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Helena Szépe, Ph.D.


Bohemia, Czech art, Paris, Prague, nineteenth century, woman artist


Although Czech artist Zdenka Braunerova (1858-1934) has been recognized by scholars for her contributions to the Czech cultural scene, thorough visual analyses of her artworks are rare. By investigating a single landscape painting, A Quiet Valley at Roztoky, and placing it into the visual and contextual frame of its creation, this thesis thus approaches Braunerova’s artistic oeuvre in an uncommon way. I argue that if understood within its social, cultural and historical context, the painting transcends the purely optic qualities of a landscape genre and acquires instead the self-referencing character of a self-representation.

By subjecting the chosen painting to a multilayered analysis through selective methods of biographical, sociological and psychological approaches, I demonstrate an alternative way of viewing Braunerova’s art. Through discussion of the importance of the depicted location, reflection on the period of artist’s life during which the painting was created, and visual analysis of stylistic and subject choices, I propose that A Quiet Valley at Roztoky is a statement of singularity, both of the painting and the artist herself.

While figuratively absent from the image, Zdenka Braunerova projects her experience and awareness into landscape painting by selecting a personally significant location and depicting it in a style which synthesizes her respect of Czech art tradition with the newly experienced visual expression of Barbizon school artists. As Braunerova’s artistic focus shifts thematically and materially throughout her life, I believe that such thorough, multilayered analyses of a single painting offer an innovative possibility for future research.