Karl Pavlovich Bryullov (1799 – 1852) was a Russian painter. He is regarded as a key figure in transition from the Russian neoclassicism to romanticism.
Karl Bryullov was born on 12 (23) December 1799 in St. Petersburg, in the family of the academician, woodcarver, and engraver Pavel Ivanovich Briullo (Brulleau, 1760—1833) who was of Huguenot descent. He felt drawn to Italy from his early years. Despite his education at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1809–1821), Bryullov never fully embraced the classical style taught by his mentors and promoted by his brother, Alexander Bryullov. After distinguishing himself as a promising and imaginative student and finishing his education, he left Russia for Rome where he worked until 1835 as a portraitist and genre painter, though his fame as an artist came when he began doing historical painting.
His best-known work, The Last Day of Pompeii (1830–1833), is a vast composition compared by Pushkin and Gogol to the best works of Rubens and Van Dyck. It created a sensation in Italy and established Bryullov as one of the finest European painters of his day. After completing this work, he triumphantly returned to the Russian capital, where he made many friends among the aristocracy and intellectual elite and obtained a high post in the Imperial Academy of Arts.