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Home > Artist > Ilya Efimovich Repin
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Ilya Efimovich Repin

Born 1844——Died 1930
Russian Artist
Biography

Ilya Yefimovich Repin: (1844 – September 29, 1930, Kuokkala, Finland) was a leading Russian painter and sculptor of the Peredvizhniki artistic school. His realistic works often expressed great psychological depth and exposed the tensions within the existing social order. Beginning in the latter-1920s, detailed works on him were being published in the USSR and about a decade later, a Repin cult was established in the Soviet Union and he was being held up as a model "progressive" and "realist" to be imitated by "Socialist Realist" artists in the USSR.

Repin was born in the town of Chuguev near Kharkov in the heart of the historical region called Sloboda Ukraine. His parents were Russian military settlers. In 1866, after apprenticeship with a local icon painter named Bunakov and preliminary study of portrait painting, he went to Saint Petersburg and was shortly admitted to the Imperial Academy of Arts as a student. From 1873 to 1876 on the Academy's allowance, Repin sojourned in Italy and lived in Paris, where he was exposed to French impressionist painting, which had a lasting effect upon his use of light and colour. Nevertheless, his style was to remain closer to that of the old European masters, especially Rembrandt, and he never became an impressionist himself. Throughout his career, he was drawn to the common people from whom he himself traced his origins, and he frequently painted country folk, both Ukrainian and Russian, though in later years he also painted members of the Imperial Russian elite, the intelligentsia, and the aristocracy, including Tsar Nicholas II.

In 1878, Repin joined the free-thinking "Association of Peredvizhniki Artists", generally called "the Wanderers" or "The Itinerants" in English, who, at about the time of Repin's arrival in the capital, rebelled against the academic formalism of the official Academy. His fame was established by his painting of the "Volga Barge Haulers", a work which portrayed the hard lot of these poor folk but which was not without hope for the youth of Russia. From 1882 he lived in Saint Petersburg but did visit his Ukrainian homeland and on occasion made tours abroad.

Beginning shortly before the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, he painted a series of pictures dealing with the theme of the Russian revolutionary movement: "Refusal to Confess", "Arrest of a Propagandist", "The Meeting", and "They did not Expect Him", the last of which is undoubtedly his masterpiece on the subject, mixing contrasting psychological moods and Russian and Ukrainian national motifs. His large-scale "Religious Procession in the Province of Kursk" is sometimes considered an archetype of the "Russian national style" displaying various social classes and the tensions among them set within the context of a traditional religious practice and united by a slow but relentless forward movement.

In 1885, Repin completed one of his most psychologically intense paintings, "Ivan the Terrible and his Son." This canvas displayed a horrified Ivan embracing his dying son, whom he had just struck and mortally wounded in an uncontrolled fit of rage. The visage of terrified Ivan is in marked contrast with that of his calm, almost Christlike son.

One of Repin's most complex paintings, "The Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan of Turkey" occupied many years of his life. He conceived this painting as a study in laughter, but also believed that it involved the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity; in short, Ukrainian Cossack republicanism. Begun in the late 1870s, it was only completed in 1891, and, ironically, was immediately purchased by the Tsar. The Tsar paid 35,000 rubles for the painting, an enormous amount for that time.

During his maturity, Repin painted many of his most celebrated compatriots, including the novelist Leo Tolstoy, the scientist Dmitri Mendeleev, the imperial official Pobedonostsev, the composer Mussorgsky, the philanthropist Pavel Tretyakov, and the Ukrainian poet and painter, Taras Shevchenko.

In 1903, he was commissioned by the Russian government to paint his most grandiose design, a 400x877 cm canvas representing a ceremonial session of the State Council.

Repin himself designed his home Penaty (literally, "the Penates") or the Roman "Household Gods", located just to the north of Saint Petersburg. After the 1917 October Revolution, Penaty was incorporated into Finland. He was invited by various Soviet institutions to come back to his homeland but refused the invitation giving the excuse that he was too old to make the journey. During this period, Repin devoted much time to painting religious subjects, though his treatment of these was usually innovative and not traditional. With the exception of a portrait of Provisional Government head, Alexander Kerensky, he never painted anything substantial on the subject of the 1917 revolutions or the Soviet experiment that followed. His last painting, a joyous and exuberant canvas called "The Hopak", was on a Ukrainian Cossack theme. In 1930, he died in Kuokkala, Finland (now Repino, Leningrad Oblast). The Penates are part of the World Heritage Site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments. In 1940, Penaty was opened for the public as a house museum. Alexander Glazunov's Oriental Rhapsody, Op. 29 (1889) is dedicated to Ilya Repin.

    * Fan Parker and Stephen Jan Parker, Russia on Canvas: Ilya Repin (University Park-London: Pennsylvania State UP, 1980). Repeats the standard Soviet interpretation of Repin's life and work.
    * Grigory Sternin and others, Ilya Repin: Painting Graphic Arts (Leningrad: Aurora, 1985). Standard Soviet treatment, but well illustrated.
    * Elizabeth Kridl Valkenier, Ilya Repin and the World of Russian Art (New York: Columbia UP, 1990). Critical non-Soviet treatment with much fresh information, but geared primarily toward academics.

 

 

Art Work
Autumn Bouquet, reproduction of Ilya Efimovich Repin
Art work details
Item Number:
WHI27
Original Artist:
Ilya Efimovich Repin
Original Name:
Autumn Bouquet
Original Size:
111 x 65cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Jelizaveta Zvantsevan muotokuva, reproduction of Ilya Efimovich Repin
Art work details
Item Number:
WHI28
Original Artist:
Ilya Efimovich Repin
Original Name:
Jelizaveta Zvantsevan muotokuva
Original Size:
89 x 69cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Moon night, reproduction of Ilya Efimovich Repin
Art work details
Item Number:
WHI29
Original Artist:
Ilya Efimovich Repin
Original Name:
Moon night
Original Size:
cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Natalia Nordmannin muotokuva, reproduction of Ilya Efimovich Repin
Art work details
Item Number:
WHI30
Original Artist:
Ilya Efimovich Repin
Original Name:
Natalia Nordmannin muotokuva
Original Size:
147 x 72cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Portrait of the Composer Alexander Glazunov, reproduction of Ilya Efimovich Repin
Art work details
Item Number:
WHI31
Original Artist:
Ilya Efimovich Repin
Original Name:
Portrait of the Composer Alexander Glazunov
Original Size:
cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Portrait of the Composer Anton Rubinstein, reproduction of Ilya Efimovich Repin
Art work details
Item Number:
WHI32
Original Artist:
Ilya Efimovich Repin
Original Name:
Portrait of the Composer Anton Rubinstein
Original Size:
cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Portrait of the Composer Mikhail Glinka, reproduction of Ilya Efimovich Repin
Art work details
Item Number:
WHI33
Original Artist:
Ilya Efimovich Repin
Original Name:
Portrait of the Composer Mikhail Glinka
Original Size:
cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Portrait of the Composer Modest Musorgsky, reproduction of Ilya Efimovich Repin
Art work details
Item Number:
WHI34
Original Artist:
Ilya Efimovich Repin
Original Name:
Portrait of the Composer Modest Musorgsky
Original Size:
cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Portrait of the Composer Nikolay Rymsky-Korsakov, reproduction of Ilya Efimovich Repin
Art work details
Item Number:
WHI35
Original Artist:
Ilya Efimovich Repin
Original Name:
Portrait of the Composer Nikolay Rymsky-Korsakov
Original Size:
cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Portrait of Natalia Nordmann and Ilya Repin, reproduction of Ilya Efimovich Repin
Art work details
Item Number:
WHI36
Original Artist:
Ilya Efimovich Repin
Original Name:
Portrait of Natalia Nordmann and Ilya Repin
Original Size:
78.5 x 130cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Portrait of Nicholas II The Last Russian Emperor, reproduction of Ilya Efimovich Repin
Art work details
Item Number:
WHI37
Original Artist:
Ilya Efimovich Repin
Original Name:
Portrait of Nicholas II The Last Russian Emperor
Original Size:
251 x 160cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Portrait of Professor Ivanov, reproduction of Ilya Efimovich Repin
Art work details
Item Number:
WHI38
Original Artist:
Ilya Efimovich Repin
Original Name:
Portrait of Professor Ivanov
Original Size:
58.5 x 48.5cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Portrait of the artist's daughter Nadezhda, reproduction of Ilya Efimovich Repin
Art work details
Item Number:
WHI39
Original Artist:
Ilya Efimovich Repin
Original Name:
Portrait of the artist's daughter Nadezhda
Original Size:
71 x 57.5cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Sadko, Under the Sea, reproduction of Ilya Efimovich Repin
Art work details
Item Number:
WHI40
Original Artist:
Ilya Efimovich Repin
Original Name:
Sadko, Under the Sea
Original Size:
cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Unexpected visitors, reproduction of Ilya Efimovich Repin
Art work details
Item Number:
WHI41
Original Artist:
Ilya Efimovich Repin
Original Name:
Unexpected visitors
Original Size:
160.5 x 167.5cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
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