Friedl Dicker-Brandeis

By Samantha Gould

Friedl Dicker- Brandeis was an Austrian artist born in Vienna. She was known for her paintings of portraits, landscapes, and still life.

Expert's Opinion

Experts say the secret of Friedl's "recognizability" is in her composition, the texture of her hand, and incredible energy of her line. It was her unique ability to see the big and the small at once- to see the smallest details, and at the same time not to forget the "main issues."

Art Work Style

She mostly panted realistic art and did not favor abstract and constructivist. Many of her works combined a mastery of material, form, and texture with artistic values of depth, light, and color.


Friedl was born into a Jewish family. Little is known about her childhood, but she was known to be an eccentric, adventurous, and smart girl.


She studied photography and reprint techniques at Experimental School of Graphics. Friedl also studied at the Textile Faculty of Viennese Royal School of Applied Art. In addition, she joined the private school of Johannes Itten in Vienna.


She was influenced by her desire to draw and paint as a child. Her father strongly encouraged this interest. Furthermore, she had a great love of working with children. Lastly, the appalling conditions around her, including the life in a concentration camp, had a huge impact on Friedl. She found a sense of life in the children and in her art.


She taught art to thousands of children in the Terezin concentration camps, including traumatized children who had seen their fathers shot dead. She inspired children to produce deeply moving art while in the most adverse conditions. She made a huge impression upon many children lucky enough to survive the Holocaust. Also during this time she developed early theories about art therapy and became one of the first practitioners of art therapy.

Most Interesting

I find it most interesting that in a time when her own survival was at risk, she chose to give herself to others. She donated her time, talents, and spirit to give the children direction and purpose and the gift of artistic freedom.

Works Cited