Karl Pavlovich Briullov

Karl Pavlovich Briullov - volcano and ruins in the...

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Karl Pavlovich Briullov: Self Portrait (1848) Oil on cardboard, 64.1 x 54 cm. Tretiakov Gallery, Moscow. This self portrait by Briullov, one of the foremost Russian painters of the early 19th century, is a fine example of his transitional style and is interesting as a character study of the artist himself. Although Briullov was educated in the neoclassical style, much of his work reveals a tendency to romanticism, which was just beginning to develop its own identity in Russian art. This portrait, for example, depicts Briullov at ease, unhampered by fancy clothes and not crowded by symbolic references to his occupation or station in life (characteristics of neoclassicism). Though it may differ from later romantic portraits in intensity, here lies the drama (though quiet) and the intensity (though subdued) associated with the romantic movement. This may be seen most clearly by comparing this self portrait with a portrait of Briullov created by V. Tropinin in the neoclassical style. The
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Unformatted text preview: volcano and ruins in the background remind one of Briullov's masterpiece, The Last Day of Pompeii , as his brush and the papers symbolize his occupation. Briullov's formal, poised attitude is flat, however, and ultimately the portrait reveals little about the character and personal drive of the subject. Briullov's self portrait, on the other hand, serves as a mirror for what he saw in himself, and thus provides a window through which we can see something of the man behind the artist. The intensity of his look, his disheveled hair and furrowed brows reveal what symbolic references to his daily occupations in the other painting do not: an independent soul in pursuit of his goals - not afraid of stumbling, but determined not to fall or fail. Thus Briullov achieves a rare level of psychological depth and "ideological realism" in the work in which he was perhaps most faithful --- to himself....
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This note was uploaded on 11/05/2011 for the course ARH ARH2000 taught by Professor Karenroberts during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Karl Pavlovich Briullov - volcano and ruins in the...

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