Family and Friends -- Anna Renata Breyne -- Biography

Born six days after Luise Kulmus, Anna Renata Breyne (1713-1759; daughter of Johann Philipp Breyne) is named by her as a friend. Not only was she a skilled illustrator, she played the piano, sang, and wrote poetry. On 7 October 1733 Luise Kulmus sent her suitor a poem Breyne had written about a pineapple plant in her father's garden. Gottsched published a portion of this poem along side one by Kulmus (her poem to Czarina Anna of Russia) and invited his readers to admire and compare them. Breyne's poem not only names Hamburg poet Brockes, it illustrates his influence. Everything on the fruit has a divinely given, functional purpose. In another poem Breyne admires the religious fervor of the Salzburg emigrants who passed through Danzig in 1732. The horrors of war and outrage at the Russian seige of 1734 are topics of another poem. Breyne's sense of humor and linguistic facility are apparent in other poems. She was reported to have been as fluent in French as in German, which she clearly knew in its High and Low German (Plattdeutsch) forms. Given that one of these poems is composed in Latin, she must be assumed to have known that language as well. Some of these are given here. These and others are written in a meticulous hand and bound in a fine leather volume in the Bibliotheka Gdanska PAN. Of the four Breyne daughters, Anna Renata is the only one not to have married.