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Karl Bryulov’s famous painting “The Genius of Art” was the author’s first serious work and became a real masterpiece of Russian painting. The painting was taken from the author for more than 3 years (1817-1820), while Bryulov was still studying at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. It was one of his student projects that met all academic requirements.
Each detail depicted in the picture is fraught with deep meaning and emotions, which the brilliant Russian artist wanted to convey to the viewer, but he was only 18 years old when he started this work.
As befits a genius, in the picture he is surrounded by typical objects such as a pair of compasses, a book, the capital of a classical column, a lyre, laurel wreaths, a sculptor’s hammer. The head of Laocoon's sculpture gives the canvas a vivid emotionality that contrasts with the calm, carefree pose of the young man, and thus, Bryullov also contrasts the vagaries of genius and torment of creativity. Bright red drapery adds to the picture a share of antique eroticism and extraordinary vigor.
The ideal rounded forms of a naked and winged youth speak of his deification, and facial features of his facelessness. A young man with an excellent body, is presented as an immortal mastermind of art. Above the head of the hero, you can see a barely noticeable radiance, symbolizing insight or muses without which it is impossible to imagine any creativity.
This work was the starting point for the Russian artist, the first major success in his work and a happy ticket to the world of high art. After this painting, the artist still created many masterpieces of world painting and is rightfully considered one of the most talented Russian artists, who left behind not a small cultural heritage.