THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII
[ART.] Sobranie opisanii kartiny Karla Briulova Poslednii den’ Pompei [Collected descriptions of the painting The Last Day of Pompeii by Karl Bryullov].
Sanktpeterburg. Pechatano v tipografii Kh. Gintse.  1833.
8vo (224 × 138 mm), pp. 59, [5]; unobtrusive waterstains in the gutter, with some spotting and light browning elsewhere, but still a good copy, uncut and partly unopened in the original printed wrappers (dated 1834), chipped and a little marked, small piece missing from the lower edge of the front cover, spine defective; unidentified private ownership stamp at head of title.
First edition, rare. Now in the Russian Museum in St Petersburg, Karl Bryullov’s massive canvas The Last Day of Pompeii (1833) was the first Russian painting to cause significant interest abroad: Walter Scott, who saw the painting in Bryullov’s workshop in Naples, called it an epic in colours, and Edward Bulwer-Lytton was inspired to write The Last Days of Pompeii (1834), his most successful novel (32 editions before 1914), after he saw it in Rome. Compiled by the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of Artists, the present work publishes Russian translations of contemporary Italian and French reviews of the painting, notably Pietro Ercole Visconti’s L’ultimo giorno di Pompei (Rome, 1833).
WorldCat locates 2 copies only, at the Library of Congress and the Met.
£1200   
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