Google+

Russian Personalities

People well-known in art, sport, film, fashion

Karl Bryullov, Russian painter

Karl Bryullov

Self-Portrait. 1848


Karl Bryullov was a famous artist, whose name became synonymous with the directions of classicism and late Russian romanticism in painting. His talent presented the world with unique works including Horsewoman, Head of Bacchus, Death of Inessa de Castro and many others. And his painting The Last Day of Pompeii still admires the true connoisseurs of art all over the world.
The future artist was born on December 23, 1799 in St. Petersburg. The Brullovs had many children: Karl had three brothers and two sisters. The father of the family had an impeccable artistic taste: he was engaged in ornamental sculpture, carved wood, painted miniatures and taught at the Academy of Arts.
Karl was a weak boy and spent a lot of time in bed. However, despite this, he studied hard. His father was a very strict teacher and sometimes even deprived the son of breakfast for insufficient diligence.
At the age of 10 Karl easily entered the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, delighting teachers with his talent. The first serious work of the artist was the picture Narcissus Looking Into The Water. In 1819, the painting brought him the first award – a small gold medal of the Academy of Arts. This moment is considered to be the beginning of a serious creative biography of Bryullov.

In 1821, Karl Pavlovich painted another masterpiece The phenomenon of Abraham three angels at the oak of Mamre. The Academy of Arts awarded the young artist big gold medal, as well as the right to travel to Italy to get acquainted with the European tradition of painting. However, the young man could go abroad later, in 1822.
Karl went to Italy together with his brother Alexander. There, young people studied the works of masters of the Renaissance, as well as earlier works of European artists. Bryullov was fond of the genre painting and painted two famous pictures Italian Morning and Italian Noon. The everyday scenes from the life of ordinary people turned out to be incredibly touching and filled with feelings.
A few years later, Karl returned to beloved Italy, where he studied the ruins of ancient cities – Herculaneum and Pompeii, which were destroyed by the strongest earthquake. The majesty of Pompeii impressed the artist, and the next few years Bryullov studied he history of Pompeii and archaeological materials. As a result, his masterpiece The Last Day of Pompeii appeared after dozens of sketches, as well as 6 years of hard work.
The artist was awarded a gold medal by the Parisian art historians, as well as honorary membership of many European art academies.
Then Karl Pavlovich went on an expedition to Greece and Turkey. Right after the trip he painted a series of watercolors and drawings, the most famous of which were The Wounded Greek, The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, A Turk Mounting a Horse, Turkish Woman.
In 1835, Bryullov returned to the Russian Empire. However, he did not immediately go to St. Petersburg, but stayed in Odessa, and then in Moscow, which made a strong impression on the artist, fascinating with majesty and simplicity at the same time.
Upon his return to Petersburg, Karl began teaching at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. Later the style of Karl Pavlovich’s students would be called “Bryullov school”. In addition, he participated in the painting of the church of Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt.

Personal life
His life was connected with Countess Julia Samoilova, who became his lover, a loyal friend, as well as a muse and beloved model. Their relations repeatedly interrupted, Julia went to Italy, where, according to rumors, she did not deny herself sensual pleasures.
In 1839 Bryullov married young Emilia Tim. The girl at the time was 19 years old. But after a month the couple broke up. The wife of Karl along with her parents went to their native Riga, and the divorce lasted two more years, until 1841.
Bryullov had a hard time parting with his wife, and Julia Samoilova, who just arrived in St. Petersburg for a while, supported him again. The artist did not have any children.

In 1848, Bryullov completed a self-portrait, which to this day is considered a model of the genre and, according to art critics, conveys the character of the artist much better than what a photo could have done.
A year later, Karl Pavlovich went to the island of Madeira. On June 23, 1852, the master passed away because of an illness. After the death of the artist there were unfinished sketches, which are now in private collections and world museums.
More pictures: gallerix.ru

Karl Bryullov, Russian painter