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Portrait of Countess Samoilova
Hillwood Mansion, Pavilion

Oil Painting
Briullov, Karl Pavlovich
Oil on canvas
H. 105 9/16 in., W. 78 3/4 in.
4 x 5 Color Transparency, Unknown

Karl Briullovís portrait of his intimate friend Countess Julia Samoilova is perhaps the artistís most important work in a museum outside Russia. Painted shortly after his monumental Last Day of Pompeii (1832; State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg), the portrait marked the pinnacle of Briullovís long sojourn in Italy and endured as one of the many tributes he painted to the beauty and friendship of the countess.

Samoilova became a longtime resident of Italy after she incurred the displeasure of Nicholas I with her extravagant social life. The wealthy countess entertained the intellectual elite of her day, including the Russian writers Turgenev and Zhukovskii and the Italian composers Donizetti, Verdi, and Giovanni Pacini. To Briullov, she epitomized femininity and beauty, and he portrayed her in a scene of joyful welcome and fashionable elegance.

Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973

1 Related Media Item

4 x 5 Color Transparency, Unknown

1 Related Publications

A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum
Odom, Anne and Arend, Liana Paredes
Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia
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