From Archaeology to Imitation: Pompeii in the Work of Alexander Briullov




Stoyanova, Masha

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In this thesis I investigate the material related to the exploration and exploitation of Pompeian heritage by the Russian architect Alexander Briullov (1798-1877). The thesis focuses on Briullov’s book Thermes de Pompéi (Paris, 1829), describing and illustrating the Forum Baths at Pompeii, and on his design of the Pompeian Dining Room in the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg (1836-1839). Situating Briullov’s work within the larger context of the European architects engaging with Pompeian legacy, I address the popularity of the Pompeian theme in the Russian visual arts, raise questions about the reasons behind Briullov’s preference for archaeological, rather than architectural, treatment of the Forum Baths, and demonstrate the major influence of the publications illustrating Pompeian decorations on interior design and decorative arts. This thesis adds new information to the discussion of the rediscovery of Herculaneum and Pompeii in nineteenth-century Europe and Russia. Many of the facts and visual data are described and presented for the first time.



Pompeii rediscovery, Russian art, Archaeology, Alexander Briullov, Architecture, Pompeiian interiors