Karl Bryullov

Intro Russian painter (1799-1852)
Known for The Last Day of Pompeii
A.K.A. Karl Briullov, Carlo Brulleau, Carlo Brullo, K. P. Bryullóv, Briullov…
Was Painter Architect
From Russia
Type Arts Engineering
Gender male
Birth 12 December 1799, Saint Petersburg, Tsardom of Russia
Death 23 June 1852, Manziana, Italy (aged 52 years)
Star sign Sagittarius
History painting

Karl Pavlovich Bryullov (Russian: Карл Па́влович Брюлло́в; 12 December 1799 – 11 June 1852), original name Charles Bruleau, also transliterated Briullov and Briuloff, and referred to by his friends as "Karl the Great", was a Russian painter. He is regarded as a key figure in transition from the Russian neoclassicism to romanticism.


Karl Bryullov was born on December, 12th (23), 1799 in St. Petersburg, in the family of the academician, woodcarver, and engraver Pavel Ivanovich Briullo (Brulleau, 1760—1833) who was of Huguenot descent. He felt drawn to Italy from his early years. Despite his education at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1809–1821), Bryullov never fully embraced the classical style taught by his mentors and promoted by his brother, Alexander Bryullov. After distinguishing himself as a promising and imaginative student and finishing his education, he left Russia for Rome where he worked until 1835 as a portraitist and genre painter, though his fame as an artist came when he began doing historical painting. His best-known work, The Last Day of Pompeii (1830–1833), is a vast composition compared by Pushkin and Gogol to the best works of Rubens and Van Dyck. It created a sensation in Italy and established Bryullov as one of the finest European painters of his day. After completing this work, he triumphantly returned to the Russian capital, where he made many friends among the aristocracy and intellectual elite and obtained a high post in the Imperial Academy of Arts. An anecdote concerning Bryullov appeared in Leo Tolstoy's essay "Why Do Men Stupefy Themselves?" and later in the same author's book What Is Art?. While teaching at the academy (1836–1848) he developed a portrait style which combined a neoclassical simplicity with a romantic tendency that fused well, and his penchant for realism was satisfied with an intriguing level of psychological penetration. While he was working on the plafond of St Isaac's Cathedral, his health suddenly deteriorated. Following advice of his doctors, Bryullov left Russia for Madeira in 1849 and spent the last three years of his life in Italy. He died in the village of Manziana near Rome and is buried at the Cimitero Acattolico there.

Selected artwork

Italian Morning, 1823, Kunsthalle Kiel Italian Midday, 1827, Russian Museum Girl, gathering grapes in the vicinity of Naples, 1827, Russian Museum A Dream of a Girl Before a Sunrise, 1830-1833, Pushkin Museum Daughters of Pacini, Giovannina and Amazilia, 1832, Tretyakov Gallery The Last Day of Pompeii, 1833, Russian Museum Portrait of Sophia Andreevna Bobrinskaya (Shuvalova), 1849.

References and notes


С. Н. Кондаков (1915). Юбилейный справочник Императорской Академии художеств. 1764-1914 (in Russian). 2. p. 25.

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