Ilya Repin was a Russian realist painter and sculptor
originating from the Kharkov region of present day
A member of the free-thinking society of Peredvizhniki
artists, Repin's works of realism became a model
imitated by "Socialist Realist" artists of the
Soviet Union. His works expressed great
psychological depth and brilliantly exposed tensions
within the existing social order.
After an apprenticeship with an icon painter,
Repin received an art education at the Imperial
Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. With the
academy's allowance, he also studied briefly in
Italy and France from 1873 to 1876. While exposed to
French Impressionist painting, and gaining insight
into its use of light and color, Ilya Repin never
became an impressionist himself. The artist remained a realist painter
his entire life.
A few notable Paintings of Illya Repin include
The work shows an
angry, huddled mass attending
the annual religious procession carrying the famous
Our Lady of Kursk icon from its home at the Korennaya monastery to the nearby city of Kursk in
The large oil on canvas is a continuation of Repin's social commentary in his work,
highlighting perceived abuses by both church and state.
Considered by many
a model for Russian national style, the
painting displays various social classes and the tensions among them.
In 1903, Ilya
Repin was commissioned by the Russian government to paint the Formal Session of the State Council
on May 7, 1901 (commemorating the 100th
Anniversary of its founding). Painted on a
large canvas of 400cm x 877cm (13.1 feet x
28.8 feet), it was one of Repin's most
Ilya Repin designed his own home Penaty ("the Penates"), located in a settlement just to the north of Saint Petersburg.
Formerly known as Kuokkala in the Grand Dutchy of Finland, the settlement is now called Repino in his honor.
The Penates are part of the World Heritage Site,
Historic Center of Saint Petersburg and Related
Groups of Monuments.