Brentano, Antonie

BORN 28 May 1780, Wien - DIED 12 May 1869, Frankfurt am Main, Hessen
BIRTH NAME Birckenstock, Johanna Antonia Josepha, Edle von
GRAVE LOCATION Frankfurt am Main, Hessen: Hauptfriedhof (Gewann C, Gruft 48 (arcade))

Antonie Brentano was the daughter of the Austrian statesman and art collector Johann Melchior Edler von Birckenstock (1738-1809). Her mother was Carlina Josefa von Hay (1755-1788). Her father was advisor to Empress Maria Theresia and Emperor Joseph II. From 1782 to 1784 the family lived in Frankfurt am Main. Antonie went to school at the the Ursuline convent in Pressburg.

On 23 July 1798 she married Franz Brentano, the stepbrother of Clements and Bettina Brentano. They had six children, born between 1799 and 1813. In 1809 she returned to Vienna to care for father, who died on 30 October 1809. She continued to live in Vienna to sort out his art collection and direct its sale. In 1810 she met Ludwig van Beethoven, who became a close friend of the family. She may even have had an affair with him. In 1812 she and her husband met Goethe in Vienna as well. In 1812 the Brentano's left Vienna and she never met Beethoven again. It is possible that she was the intended the recipient of the long love letter that Beethoven wrote in Teplitz in 1812 but never sent.

In Frankfurt Franz Brentano was elected into the senate and Antonie was known for her work for the poor, running several charities. They received Goethe and the brothers Grimm in Frankfurt and at the summer home at Winkel near Rheingau. Her husband died in 1844 in Frankfurt and Antonie died in that city in 1869.

Related persons
• was a friend of Beethoven, Ludwig van
• knew Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
• was painted by Stieler, Joseph


The Brentano grave at the arcades of the Hauptfriedhof in Frankfurt am Main.
Picture by Androom (30 Jul 2022)


Antonie Brentano - Wikipedia

Brentano, Clemens

Published: 26 Dec 2022
Last update: 26 Dec 2022