Bertha Schiltz was born in Antwerp on 3 October 1901. At a very early age, her talent for drawing and painting became apparent, and when she turned twelve years old, she received drawing lessons at home.
In 1918 she went to a private workshop and from 1921 to 1926 she took lessons at the Royal Academy of Antwerp.
In 1924 she became here laureate for drawing after an antique statue. Nevertheless, the artist did not yet consider her education as fully completed and so in 1926 she went to the Higher Institute of Fine Arts, where she studied under the direction of Professor Richard Baseleer and Professor de Bruycker (etching).
At the age of 32 she decides to work as an independant worker. She then participated in a number of group exhibitions and in the four-yearly exhibitions of 1934 and 1948. She also provides work for a number of personal exhibitions, a.o. in 1937 in Antwerp, in 1948 in Temse and again in 1956 in Antwerp (Gallery Breckpot). Bertha Schiltz also remained faithful to her art in her daily life. She was in fact a drawing teacher at the Sint-Lutgardis Institute in Antwerp from 1943 to 1954 and in Hoegaarden in the years 1953-54.
What to say about her paintings?
Anyone born in Antwerp can hardly escape the charm of the Scheldt. Sometimes soft and charming, sometimes cruel, but always grand flows this beautiful stream along the old city of Antwerp.
In oil painting, etching, watercolours and sketches Bertha Schiltz captures the eternal life of the Scheldt, sometimes tender, sometimes turbulent like the water itself. We also know from her a number of sensitive still lifes, full of warm and soft colours, really small pearls. The art critic H. Colley mentions her art in La Métropole of 28 January 1956: « Silent, austere art, in which the great value of painting according to nature emerges ».