Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective, does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
Ilya Repin is one of the most famous Russian artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, a prominent representative of the direction of realism in painting. Repin was born in the city of Chuguev, Kharkov province, began to draw from an early age. At the age of fifteen he studied with an icon painter, after which he himself participated in the painting of rural churches for several years. Having saved up funds for training, he went to St. Petersburg, and in 1871 he graduated from the art academy. Repin spent most of his creative life in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The artist most of all preferred genre painting, historical scenes and portraits. His paintings are distinguished by detail in the depiction of everyday scenes, subtle psychologism, deep emotional content, they affect different aspects of the life of people and society as a whole. Today, Repin's work is widely known not only in Russia, but also abroad. We invite you to familiarize yourself with ten famous works of the great Russian master of painting.
- 10 most famous paintings by Repin
- Portrait of the composer Modest Mussorgsky
- Solemn meeting of the State Council on May 7, 1901
- Seeing off the recruit
- Religious procession in Kursk province
- Nikolay Mirlikisky relieves three innocent convicts from death
- Cossacks write a letter to the Turkish sultan
- Did not wait
- Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan
- Barge Haulers on the Volga
10 most famous paintings by Repin
|Review of the most famous paintings by Repin||10||Portrait of the composer Modest Mussorgsky||4.1|
|9||Solemn meeting of the State Council on May 7, 1901||4.2|
|8||Seeing off the recruit||4.3|
|7||Religious procession in Kursk province||4.4|
|6||Nikolay Mirlikisky relieves three innocent convicts from death||4.5|
|5||Cossacks write a letter to the Turkish sultan||4.6|
|4||Did not wait||4.7|
|2||Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan||4.9|
|1||Barge Haulers on the Volga||5.0|
Portrait of the composer Modest Mussorgsky
This picture was written shortly before the death of the composer, who was then in the hospital. Repin spent four days in a hospital ward working on the portrait. Despite such a record short time, he was able to perfectly convey on the canvas along with the facial features also the character of Mussorgsky, which was confirmed by everyone who knew him personally. In addition to sadness and thoughtfulness, the composer's gaze shows inner strength and a rich inner world. However, the artist did not seek to embellish reality. Tousled hair, red nose, deep circles under the eyes – all this corresponds to the condition of a person who has brought himself to delirium tremens. Repin seems to emphasize the contrast between Mussorgsky's genius and the physical weakness that consumed him. The clothes are not drawn in particular detail, the background of the background of the picture is made almost uniform, thus all attention is focused on the composer's face and his emotions.
Solemn meeting of the State Council on May 7, 1901
Repin executed this painting by order of the Russian Emperor Nicholas II in connection with the centenary of the establishment of the State Council. It captures a meeting at the Mariinsky Palace in St. Petersburg. The protagonists are the emperor, prominent statesmen and secretaries presenting anniversary awards to members of the council. At the time of writing the picture, the artist was already famous and served as a professor at the St. Petersburg Art Academy. However, due to severe pain in his right hand, Repin would have found it difficult to work alone, so his students helped him: Ivan Kulikov and Boris Kustodiev. It took three years to create a monumental canvas measuring almost nine by four meters. In the process, Repin made many interior sketches, used a camera, and also created sixty individual portrait sketches. As a result, for all the scale of the picture, each of the participants in the meeting was conveyed vividly and with his inherent individuality. The color scheme of the event is no less talented – the artist compensates for the abundance of red, black and golden colors with a rich range of shades and chiaroscuro.
Seeing off the recruit
After Ilya Repin met the philanthropist Savva Mamontov, he often began to spend time in the Abramtsevo estate, owned by Mamontov. Coming there with his family, the artist loved to walk around the neighborhood and observe the way of life of the peasants. It was at that time that he had the idea to transfer to the canvas the touching moment of the young recruit's farewell to his family. The picture is filled with a sense of anxiety and sadness, despair is clearly read on the faces of those who accompany them, as if they understand that they may no longer see him. And it is not surprising, because at that time the term of service in the army was more than ten years, moreover, there was a Russian-Turkish war, so their fears were far from in vain. The central shapes of the canvas are highlighted with bright light. Their clothes, a horse-drawn carriage, as well as village buildings are drawn in detail and with authenticity characteristic of Repin.
Religious procession in Kursk province
The large-scale painting was created after the artist's trip to the Kursk province, where he witnessed a magnificent procession with the icon of the Mother of God. Also for inspiration, Repin visited Chernigov, where he watched the procession from the Trinity Monastery. The procession depicted on the canvas consists of people of various classes, and the clergy and city nobility do not mix with the common people – this is prevented by the equestrian officers. They closely follow the established order, not disdaining to use force, as one of the guards of the law has already swung a whip at some violator. Particular attention is paid to himself by a young hunchback on a crutch, who is blocked by a stick, but he still purposefully moves towards the Orthodox shrines, apparently hoping for a miraculous healing. In total, more than 70 different characters are captured on the canvas. Repin chose the landscape from felled stumps not by chance – he repeatedly expressed his protest against active deforestation and exploitative attitude to nature. The painting presented to the public was highly praised by critics, who called it one of the artist's most mature works.
Nikolay Mirlikisky relieves three innocent convicts from death
Initially, the painting about Nicholas the Wonderworker was commissioned by the abbess of the nunnery to Repin. Gradually, he became so carried away by this topic that he wrote a masterpiece, which Tsar Alexander III himself immediately acquired from the exhibition of the Itinerants. The choice of the plot was influenced by the controversy raised earlier by Leo Tolstoy about the abolition of the death penalty in Russia. The canvas depicts Nicholas of Mirlikisky at the moment when he is about to grab the sword from the executioner to prevent him from being executed. Before that, Nikolai was away, but upon learning that the bribed mayor had condemned three innocent people to death, he immediately returned to the city of Miru and bravely put an end to the injustice. Most of all, in the picture, attention is drawn to the contrast between the confident and adamant Nicholas the Wonderworker and the surprised and bewildered faces of others present. Subsequently, Repin also painted a reduced version of the canvas for the monastery.
Cossacks write a letter to the Turkish sultan
Ilya Repin first heard the story of a letter written by the Cossacks of the Zaporizhzhya Sich in response to the ultimatum of the Turkish Sultan when visiting his friend the historian Dmitry Yavornitsky, who kept a copy of the letter dating from the 18th century. The painter was greatly interested in this story, and he decided to use the plot for his new painting. He depicted on it directly the process of composing an obscene and offensive answer, which, according to legend, was sent by the Cossacks to the ruler of the Ottoman Empire. Due to the fact that the artist, in the process of creating the canvas, carefully studied the culture of the Ukrainian Cossacks, the scene came out interesting and lively, and the weapons and clothes were historically accurate. The picture was highly appreciated in Russia and at several foreign exhibitions.
Did not wait
The idea of this plot came to Repin in 1883, during his stay at a dacha near St. Petersburg, from which he copied the interior of the room. Then the question of the Narodnaya Volya and their amnesty was relevant – many political prisoners were released ahead of schedule. The picture shows the sudden return of one of the exiles, at this moment each of the family members present in the room reacts differently to his arrival. Joy is visible on the faces of the woman at the piano and the boy sitting at the table, obviously his wife and son. The girl looks with bewilderment, she most likely has not yet recognized her father in the aged, exhausted man. In the foreground is the prisoner's elderly mother, frozen in amazement. The uncertain face of the main character, who seems to doubt whether he will be accepted, also adds drama to the canvas. The artist rewrote this detail three times until he achieved the desired effect. It is noteworthy that the room is decorated with portraits of Taras Shevchenko and Nikolai Nekrasov, which were then associated with people's worldviews.
Repin painted a painting on a fairy-tale theme during a trip to Paris in 1876. It was a kind of reflection of the artist's views on fashionable impressionist trends in European art of the 19th century. According to the plot, the Novgorod merchant Sadko came to visit the sea king and was forced to entertain him by playing the harp. The underwater king decided to keep the talented musician with him, giving him one of his many daughters. However, Sadko pays no attention to the richly dressed and decorated beauties, preferring to them the Russian peasant woman standing in the distance. According to the epic, this decision helps him to escape from underwater captivity and return to his native shores. While working on the painting, the artist sought to achieve complete reliability in the image of the water, as well as representatives of the marine fauna, for which he studied the atlases of the seabed and visited the Berlin Aquarium. The image of the hero Sadko was created from the artist Viktor Vasnetsov, who came to Paris at the invitation of Repin. The canvas exhibited at the Paris Salon did not attract much attention, but quickly became popular in Russia.
Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan
It is believed that the bloody events of 1881 were the inspiration for the creation of the picture: the assassination of Tsar Alexander II and the subsequent executions of the People's Will. The canvas depicts a scene when Ivan the Terrible, repenting of his terrible act, hugs his dying son to himself, trying to close the bleeding wound on his head with his hand. The desperate face of the autocrat is the centerpiece of the composition. The murder weapon lying in the foreground, red carpets and overturned furniture enhance the drama of what is happening on the canvas. Not daring to immediately present the picture to the general public, Repin first showed it to his friends, painters, who were both horrified and delighted with the work. But the statesmen definitely did not like the plot – Tsar Alexander III personally banned it from being shown at exhibitions. However, several months later, the censorship was removed thanks to the petition of the artist Alexei Bogolyubov.
Barge Haulers on the Volga
The painting “Barge Haulers on the Volga” was a sharp contrast to traditional academic painting, it became one of the symbols of the then emerging realism in Russian art. Burlakov, in the process of their hard work, Repin painted from life, having gone to the Volga coast for this. He met many of the characters personally, thanks to which he was able, instead of a faceless group of people, to convey on the canvas the individual traits of each. The composition is built so that the figures coming towards the viewer do not overlap each other. Although the plot carries a certain social message on the topic of injustice, the main emphasis is on people, each of whom has its own difficult life story. Their tired faces express different emotions: someone resigned to their fate, someone philosophically lights a pipe, while the other, due to inexperience, is almost ready to throw the straps. The worn, tattered clothing of the haulers contrasts with the clear blue sky and the neat outline of the ship's hull. This is the first painting that brought Repin all-Russian fame, and many art critics consider it the best work of the artist.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.