Baptism of Princess Olga in Constantinople


The artist is unknown

According to the number "479", written on the front side with white paint, the picture was once in the collection of Emperor Nicholas I, in the Anichkov Palace. "O. N."The subframe probably indicates that the picture was located in the apartments of the daughter of the emperor, Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna. The plot reflects one of the most important and determining events in the history of Russia. The baptism of Princess Olga was unusually solemnly, Patriarch Polyevkt made a great sacrament over the princess, and the Byzantine emperor Konstantin Bagryanorod took her from the font. According to the annals "Tale of Bygone Years", this event occurred in 955 in Constantinople.

One of the few who wrote on this plot was F. AND. Bruni; Among his first works in Rome, where he went in 1819, was the painting “The Baptism of Princess Olga”. She was judged by the artist’s later appeal to this plot in a series of his engravings dedicated to the history of Russia and published by the OPH in 1837. Olga’s baptism was not included in this publication, and the artist was made a remark about the image of a blessed princess naked. It is hardly correct to judge the early picture conceived by a young artist, when his individual manner has not yet developed, according to his classic, later works. Nevertheless, we can assume with a sufficient basis that the work in question is a sketch for the picture f. AND. Bruni. This assumption is evidenced by the origin of the picture from the imperial assembly and its stylistic and iconographic proximity to the early work of Bruni. The final conclusion about the authorship of the picture requires additional research.

Fedor Antonovich Bruni (1801, Milan-1875, St. Petersburg). Painter, engraver; author of religious and historical compositions; Portraitist, monumentalist. The son of an artist who moved in 1807 with a family to Russia. He studied at the IAX (1809–1818) at the expense of Count Yu. P. Litta. In January 1819 received a certificate of the 1st degree. He lived in Italy, worked mainly in Rome (1819–1836, 1839–1841, 1843–1845). Professor (1836), rector of IAX (1855–1872). Since 1849 – Keeper of the picturesque department of IE. Creator of the paintings of the Cathedral of St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg (1841–1853). Member (1824) and Honorary Professor of the Academy of St. Bows in Rome; Honorary Member of AH (1851), member of the Royal Academy in Milan (1862).

N. X. Unknown artist. SPb, 2012. With. 194.

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