Giovannina and Amacilia Pacini by Karl Briullov, 1832
Giovannina Pacini (Naples, 1825 – ?) and Amacilia Pacini (Naples, 1827 – ?) were the Foster Children of Countess Yuliya Pavlovna Samoylova and natural daughters of composer Giovanni Pacini (Catania, 1796 – Pescia, 1867) and Adelaide Castelli (Naples,? – Naples, 1828).
The painting depicts the sisters Giovannina and Amazilia Pacini, the charges of Countess Yu.P. Samoilova, with whom Bryullov had a close friendship. What is important in the painting Horse Equestrian is not so much a story as the action. The older of the two sisters is stopping an excited, overheated horse, though she remains absolutely calm throughout. Wild force submits to fragile beauty – one of the favourite themes of Romanticism. The face of the girl is ideally beautiful. The Italian look was considered in Bryullov’s day to be perfect and the artist was delighted to use this to advantage. The refined play of colours, the sparkling fabrics – every detail literally speaks of the grandeur of this «best of all worlds».