Pifferari before the image of Madonna, 1825, Brullov

Pifferari before the image of Madonna, 1825, Brullov
Pifferari before the image of Madonna, 1825, Brullov - 1

  • Posted by Karl Pavlovich Brullov
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1825

Overview of the painting :

Pifferari before the image of the Madonna – Karl Pavlovich Brullov. 1825 – Oil on canvas. 53.5 x 42.5 cm
   Pifferari, wandering Italian musicians playing the piffero (bumps), stopped at the entrance to the chapel. The old man and the boy in the simple clothes of the Italian poor – colored cloaks and broad-faced hats – graciously look at the image of the Madonna hanging on the wall. The rays of the bright southern sun are felt in the shade, reflected on the icon, on the stone wall of the chapel, on the faces of the musicians. The charm of shining Italian nature was conveyed by Brullov with amazing reliability and immediacy.

   Sending in 1822 Karl Pavlovich Brullova together with his brother Alexander (future architect) to Italy to get acquainted with the works of art classics, the Society for the Promotion of Artists provided its pensioners with instructions indicating: “It should be noted that now people, unfortunately, prefer landscapes, entrails, rural scenes and all that… called “Tableax de genre” (genre paintings.- Ed.). Thus, the Society warned the artist, who had shortly before graduating from the class of historical painting of the St. Petersburg Academy, from hobbies unworthy of the high rank of painter. And, nevertheless, in the first period of his stay in Italy, Karl Brullov writes precisely genre scenes, “internalities”, is interested in the landscape. He creates paintings “Morning” and “Elder” in these years, depicts scenes from folk life – “Piligrim”, “Evening”, “Pifferari”, etc.

   Working with outdoor nature poses new challenges for a young artist, but he does not change the basic principles of an academic school. His paintings are written in a sound local color, the forms are outlined in an accurate pattern, the composition is strictly thought out and verified. The poor clothes of his wandering musicians seem beautiful in the rays of the southern sun. The beauty and strict nobility of forms remain the main thing for the pupil of the Academy with all his interest in transmitting a directly observed scene from the life of a simple Italian people.