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HOME: Famous Russians: Ilya Repin

Ilya Repin

 

Ilya Repin portrait by Ivan KramskoyIlya Repin was a Russian realist painter and sculptor originating from the Kharkov region of present day Ukraine. 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 following:

  • Barge Haulers on the Volga (1870-1873)
    • portraying the hard life of the Russian peasant, but not without hope for Russia's future (as a brightly colored youth fights against his leather binds and takes on a heroic poise)
    • one of the most famous pieces of the Peredvizhniki movement, the painting helped establish Repin's fame
  • They Did Not Expect Him (1884-1888)
    • A masterpiece dealing with the theme of the Russian revolutionary movement, the painting shows a family surprised by an unexpected return home of a political exile.
    • The painting is one of Repin's finest artistic achievements from the social point of view of the Peredvizhniki movement.
  • Religious Procession in Kursk Province (1880-1883)
    • 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 western Russia.
    • 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.
  • Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16th, 1581 (1885)
    • One of Ilya Repin's most psychologically intense works, the painting displays a horrified Ivan embracing his dying son, whom he had just struck and mortally wounded in an uncontrolled fit of rage.
  • Zaporozhian Cossacks Writing a Letter to the Turkish Sultan (1880-1891)
    • A painting depicting Ukrainian Cossack republicanism, Repin started the painting around 1880 and never finished it until 1891.
    • Alexander III bought the painting for 35,000 rubles, at the time the greatest sum ever paid for a Russian painting.
  • Ceremonial Session of the State Council (1903)
    • 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 grandiose works.
  • Portraits of Famous Russians

 

Memorial Home "Penates"


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.

 

Ilya Repin Facts


Russian Name: Илья Ефимович Репин

Ukrainian Name: Ілля Юхимович Рєпін

Date of Birth: August 5, 1844

Place of Birth: Chuguyev, Russian Empire

Date of Death: September 29, 1930

Place of Death: Kuokkala, Finland

Famous as: Painter, Sculptor

Movement: Realism

 

Ilya Repin Self-portrait

 

Ilya Repin - BBC's "The Art of Russia"

 

Poem "Magdalena" - Illya Repin Paintings

 

Paintings of Ilya Yefimovich Repin

 

Ilya Repin - Barge Haulers on the Volga

Barge Haulers on the Volga (1870-73)
Location: Russian State Museum, Saint Petersburg

Ilya Repin - Emperor Nicholas II

Emperor Nicholas II (1895)
Russian State Museum, Saint Petersburg

Ilya Repin - Ceremonial Session of the State Council

Ceremonial Session of the State Council (1903)
Location: Russian State Museum, Saint Petersburg

Ilya Repin - 17 October 1905

17 October 1905 (1906-1911)
Location: Russian State Museum, Saint Petersburg

Ilya Repin - Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16th, 1581

Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16th, 1581
Location: Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Ilya Repin - Painter's Daughter

Painter's Daughter (1884)
Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Ilya Repin - Portrait of Mendeleev

Portrait of Mendeleev (1885)
Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Ilya Repin - Portrait of Leo Tolstoy

Portrait of Leo Tolstoy (1887)
Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Ilya Repin - Zaporozhian Cossacks Writing a Letter to the Turkish Sultan

Zaporozhian Cossacks Writing a Letter to the Turkish Sultan (1880-1891)
Location: Russian State Museum, Saint Petersburg

Ilya Repin - They Did Not Expect Him

They Did Not Expect Him (1884-1888)
Location: Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Ilya Repin - Composer Modest Mussorgsky

Composer Modest Mussorgsky
painted March 1881, just days prior to the composer's death
Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Ilya Repin - Pushkin Reciting His Poem Before Old Derzhavin

Pushkin Reciting His Poem Before Old Derzhavin (1911)
All-Russian A.S. Pushkin Museum, Saint Petersburg

Ilya Repin - Religious Procession in Kursk Province

Religious Procession in Kursk Province (1880-1883)
Location: Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow