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Portrait of Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna, née Princess Friederike Charlotte of Württemberg, Wife of Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich, with her Daughter Grand Duchess Maria Mikhailovna

Brullov Karl

265 x 185


Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna (1806–1873), born Princess Friederike Charlotte Marie of Württemberg, became the wife of Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich in 1824. She was educated in Paris at a private boarding school. She was famous for her charity work. During the Crimean War, she organised the Holy Cross Fellowship of Sisters of Mercy, which would become the prototype for the Red Cross. She was a patroness of composers, musicians, writers, and scientists. In 1858, she began the first conservatory classes led by composer and conductor Anton Rubinstein at her home in the Mikhailovsky Palace. She was one of the founders of the Russian Musical Society (1859). She was a strong supporter of liberal reforms and contributed to the liberation of peasants from serfdom.

Author's Biography

Brullov Karl

Brullov (Bruleau), Karl Pavlovich
1799, St Petersburg -1852, Manziana (near Rome)
Painter, watercolourist, draughtsman, history painter, portraitist, genre painter, mural painter. Born into an artistic family. Studied under Anton Ivanov, Alexei Yegorov and Vasily Shebuyev at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1809-22), graduated with a first-class gold medal. Sent to Italy by the Society for the Encouragement of Arts (1822-35). Worked in Milan, Naples and Rome. Won fame in Europe as a portraitist and history painter for such works as The Last Day of Pompeii (1827-33, Russian Museum. St Petersburg)- Returned to Russia and lived in St Petersburg. Honorary freeman (1834), second-degree professor (1835) and first-degree professor (1846) of the Imperial Academy of Arts, where he taught history painting, enjoying the love and respect of his many students. Professor of the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. Contributed to exhibitions in Rome, Milan, Paris and St Petersburg. Went abroad on the advice of doctors (1849), settled in Italy (1850).

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