Apartment of the family of Alfons Brandt
Ferdynand Hoesick does not omit to mention Chopin’s schoolmates when recalling the young composer’s circle of friends from his Warsaw days: ‘Chopin finished one of his letters to Jan Matuszyński with “kiss Magnuś, Alfons, Reinszmidek. If possible, ask one of them to add something to your letter”. By “Magnuś”, Chopin meant Dominik Magnuszewski, by “Alfons”, Alfons Brandt, and “Reinszmidek” was Józef Reinszmitt [sic], Magnuszewski’s brother-in-law, wedded to his sister. Alfons Brandt was related to the Linde family and was a schoolmate of Fryderyk’s. He studied medicine at Warsaw University. He and Chopin were really close.’
Evidence of a special liking for young Brandt can be found in other letters by Chopin. In a letter from Paris to Alfons Norbert Kumelski, we even find: ‘Alfons is studying medicine – it will be easy to ask about his whereabouts. If you find him, give him a kiss, because he is one of my closest friends’.
Alfons Jan Fryderyk Brandt (1812–1846) was a pupil at the Warsaw Lyceum with Chopin. He was also one of Chopin’s travelling companions to Krakow, Wieliczka, Vienna, Prague and Dresden in 1829. After finishing secondary school, Brandt went on to study medicine, like his father and grandfather before him (after doing two years of nature studies on the Faculty of Philosophy). He left Warsaw after the failure of the November Uprising and finished his studies in Berlin, where he obtained his doctorate in medicine. When he returned to Poland, Brandt held several important positions, including head doctor at the Zamoyski family fee tail in Szczebrzeszyn, Warsaw gubernatorial obstetrician and chief surgeon at the Dzieciątko Jezus [Infant Jesus] Hospital in Warsaw. He died while assisting the residents of Warsaw during the typhus epidemic of 1846. Brandt married Anna Krystyna Marianna, née Lessel (sister of Józef Lessel, a Warsaw architect and builder). They had one son, Józef, who became an artist, best known for his paintings of battles and landscapes.