The Last Day of Pompeii by Karl Bryullov
The Last Day of Pompeii by Karl Bryullov

The Last Day of Pompeii

The Last Day of Pompeii c1833 by Russian Painter Karl Bryullov (1799 – 1852 – born Charles Bruleau); a portraitist, genre and historical artist, is regarded as a key figure in the transition from Russian Neoclassicism to Romanticism.

This powerful work by Bryullov depicts the inhabitants of Pompeii (Founded sometime between 6th & 7th Century B.C.), as they bear witness to the horror of the destruction of their city during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (79 A.D.).

With rocks, ash and lava descending upon them; men, women, children and animals try to flea the destruction of their city, in what will be, their last moments of life.

This is a retouched digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image.

Info Below Derived From Wikipedia.org

Karl Pavlovich Bryullov who was born Charles Bruleau (1799 – 1852), and who’s name is also transliterated to Briullov and Briuloff; was referred to by his friends as Karl the Great, and is considered as a key figure in the transition from the Russian neoclassic period to the romantic period.

Karl was born to Pavel Ivanovich Briullo (Brulleau, 1760 – 1833), an academician, woodcarver, and engraver who was of Huguenot (a religious group of French Prostestants) descent.

Though Karl Bryullov was educated at the Russian Imperial Academy of Arts from 1809 to 1821, he never truly embraced the classical style which was taught by his mentors and which was also promoted by his older brother Alexander Bryullov (1798 – 1877).

After finishing his studies at the academy, where he had distinguished himself as an imaginative and distinguished student he left Russia for Rome, since from his early years he felt drawn to Italy.

He worked in Rome as a portraitist and genre painter until 1835; but his fame as an artist began when he started doing historical paintings; one of his best known works is The Last Day Of Pompeii 1830 – 1833; a massive engrossing composition.

Russian poet, playwright and novelist Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799 – 1837) and Russian novelist Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol (1809 – 1842) compared this piece to the best works of Flemish Painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640) and Dutch Painter Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599 – 1641), who was a student of Rubens.

The Last Day Of Pompeii created a sensation in Italy and established Bryullov as one of the finest European painters of his day.

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