BRYULLOV, Aleksandr Pavlovich
(b. 1798, St. Petersburg, d. 1877, St. Petersburg)

Biography

Architect, part of a Russian family of artists, of German origin. The family included various artists and craftsmen, settled in Russia in the 18th century. The brothers Aleksandr Bryullov and Karl Bryullov were its most notable members. Aleksandr was one of the originators and leaders of Romanticism and historicism in Russian architecture. Karl briefly became one of the most famous painters in Europe, largely on account of his huge history painting of the Last Day of Pompeii (1830-32; St Petersburg, Russian Museum)

Aleksandr studied with his father, a craftsman who produced decorative carvings, and then in the St Petersburg Academy of Arts (1810-21) before studying architecture in Italy (1822-26) and France (1826-30). During the 1830s he designed buildings in a variety of styles, which were landmarks in the movement in Russia towards a Romantic picturesqueness. He was a highly talented designer of interior decoration, as can be seen in his restoration of the rooms in the Winter Palace, St Petersburg, after a fire in 1837, where he combined refined Neo-classical decoration with intimate details that could be described as Biedermeier, and in his alterations to interiors of the Marble Palace (1845-9), St Petersburg. He also painted Romantic watercolour portraits.