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Views of Odessa, 1830 by Carlo Bossoli


2021 marks 206 years since the birth of the outstanding artist Carlo Bossoli (1815-1884), depicting numerous views of Odessa and Crimea for the history.


Born in the Swiss city of Lugano, Carlo Bossoli, after the family moved to Odessa, lived in the city from the age of five. Demonstrating early visual aptitude art, Bossoli since 1828 worked in the studio of the Odessa Opera artist Rinaldo Nannini. At the age of nineteen, he began to paint and sell his paintings (rather late for an artist).

The successes of the young artist were noticed by Governor-General of the region, Count M.S. Vorontsov, who ordered views of Odessa for him. Since then, Mikhail Semenovich and his wife Elizaveta Ksaveryevna Vorontsov become his regular customers and patrons of the arts.

Princess Elizabeta was impressed with his abilities and advised Bossoli go to Italy to improve skills and insisted on exercising this trip. The artist spent in Italy more than a year (spring 1839 – summer 1840), studied works of old masters and contemporary painters, was inspired to create his own paintings. He stayed mostly in Naples and Rome, giving special attention to tempera and gouache and associating with the many British artists who were living there. 

Returned from Italy, Bossoli, at the invitation of Count M.S. Vorontsov, he came to Crimea, settled in the coastal resort of Alupka, on the Vorontsov estate where he lived in 1840-1842.

Having travelled the entire peninsula as explorer traveller, painter, he expressed his impressions in a series of beautiful watercolours and gouaches (some of them are kept in the Hermitage).

Researchers of Carlo Bossoli celebrate the main advantages of his works: “a virtuoso mastery of drawing technique, realism, a deep sense of nature and perspective”.

Album with views of Odessa, 1830
On the left there is the first theater, after the fire the Opera House will appear in its place. Behind it you can see the building of the stock exchange, now it is the City Council

Creative biography researcher of Bossoli E. Vishnevskaya claims that in 1843 at the insistence of a mother who dreamed him to return Carlo to his homeland, the artist left his second homeland, where he lived for 23 years. He moved to Milan and opened a studio there. He remained there until 1853, when an unsuccessful uprising against the Austrians forced him to flee to Turin, which he used as his base of operations for travels to England, France, Spain, Morocco and Germany.

Vorontsov’s palace. During the Soviet era, it was turned into the Palace of Pioneers. On the left there are stables, and during the Soviet era there were children’s workshops. The Oryol building is now absent, in its place is a staircase with two lions. The Winter Garden has ceased to be a closed space a long time ago, now it is more like a portico (roof with columns).
Sabaneev Bridge over Voenny (Military) Descent. The building on the left has not survived. Behind it is the modern House of Scientists. Vorontsov Palace is visible in the distance to the right.

Subsequently, “he travelled half the world, gain fame as an iso-reporter. For a while he will be even an English court painter. Carlo Bossoli spent several years traveling from Scandinavia to the shores of North Africa. His travel drawings are a kind of “fine journalism”. They are popular, printed by many well-known publications, in particular The Times. In 1851. he again visited his second homeland, Russia, where he created a new series of works dedicated to Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Novikov Bridge towards the city center. Ilya Novikov founded a not weak artel for the production of ropes. The current Rope plant on Kanatnaya Street (named after this plant) was taken away from Novikov’s grandson after 1917.
Bathing shore. But the port grew so rapidly that the Practical Harbour appeared on this place very soon.

Little is known about the last years of the artist’s life. He settled in Turin, built a house that partially resembled the eclectic architecture of the Vorontsov Palace, which so struck the imagination of the young man. Without creating his own family, he raised his beloved nephew. In 1883, at the age of sixty-eight, he married Adelaide De Carolis, who was only twenty-one. The following year, he died of a heart attack. He was buried in Lugano and a street in Turin is named after him.

The prison castle was located next to the modern Railway Station Square. In 180 years, a McDonald’s restaurant will be located next to it.
Entry to Odessa from Kherson. The building on the left still exists. Further on the left side the city hospital, it also exists today. On the site of the fire tower there is now a nondescript Soviet residential building.

The creative heritage of Carlo Bossoli occupies a worthy place in world culture and is included in many museum collections. His name is widely known to connoisseurs. Collectors in Europe and America are happy to acquire very expensive works by Carlo Bossoli, as evidenced by the famous art auctions, in particular the auction in Washington in 1988, where 25 original drawings by the master were exhibited.

In 1830, the name of the colonnade was not the belvedere in Vorontsov’s palace, but this architectural structure. It was located approximately on the site of the main facade of the Archaeological Museum. On the left is the building of the old stock exchange. When the building of the new exchange was built, this building was given to the mayor’s office
Preobrazhenskaya Square. You can see the building of the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (built in 1808), on the site of which the modern-former Transfiguration Cathedral will later be built

The Album of 11 paintings is on sale at auctions for $11,000.

Primorsky Boulevard
Port Quarantine