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The Brazen Serpent. 1841

Bruni Fidelio (Fyodor),
Oil on canvas
565 x 852

State Russian Museum


Fidelio Bruni’s The Brazen Serpent is one of the most spectacular canvases painted in the first half of the nineteenth century. The artist worked arduously on the painting for over fifteen years, from the first sketches to the final version. The most important work in Bruni’s oeuvre, the painting of The Brazen Serpent was a landmark event in Russian cultural life.

Author's Biography

Bruni Fidelio (Fyodor)

Bruni, Fidelio (Fyodor Antonovich)
1801, Milan -1875, St Petersburg
Painter, engraver, author of religious and history compositions, portraitist. Son of the painter and sculptor Antonio Baroffi-Bruni. Moved to Russia with his father (1807). Studied under Alexei Yegorov, Andrei Ivanov and Vasily Shebuyev at the Imperial Academy of Arts (from 1809). Graduated with a first-class degree (1818). Moved to Rome to con¬tinue his art education (1819). Returned to Russia and painted portraits and icons for churches and cathedrals in St Petersburg and environs (1835-38). Lived and worked in Rome (1838-43, 1843-45). Honorary member of the Academies of Art of Bologna and Milan, professor of the Florentine Academy of Arts and St Luke''s Academy in Rome. Taught at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1836-38, 1846-71). Second-class professor (1836), first-class professor (1846), rector of painting and sculpture (1855-71). Curator of the Imperial Hermitage picture gallery (1849-64), headed the mosaic studio at the Imperial Academy of Arts (from 1866

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