Oil on сanvas
281 x 213
State Russian Museum
The Shishmareva sisters were the granddaughters of Savva Yakovlev, one of the wealthiest merchants in St Petersburg. This is one of Karl Brullov’s finest works of official portraiture. The painting demonstrates the artist’s talent for masterly compositions and his rich and refined palette.
Alexandra Afanasievna Shishmareva (?–1893, first married name Chernysheva, second married name Durasova) and Olga Afanasievna Shishmareva (dates of birth and death unknown, married name Olsufieva): Daughters of Afanasy Shishmarev.
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).