Ilya Repin

lya Repin was the most renowned Russian artist of the 19th century, when his position in the world of art was comparable to that of Leo Tolstoy in literature. He played a major role in bringing Russian art into the mainstream of European culture.

Repin had favorite subjects, and a limited circle of people whose portraits he painted. But he had a deep sense of purpose in his aesthetics, and had the great artistic gift to sense the spirit of the age and its reflection in the lives and characters of individuals. Repin’s search for truth and for an ideal led him various directions artistically, influenced by aspects of hidden social and spiritual experiences and national culture. Like most Russian realists of his times, Repin often based his works on dramatic conflicts rooted in reality, drawn from contemporary life or history. He also used mythological images with a strong sense of purpose. Some of his religious paintings are among his greatest.

Repin persistently searched for new techniques and content to give his work more fullness and depth. His method was the reverse of impressionism. He produced works slowly and carefully. They were the result of close and detailed study. With some of his paintings, he made one hundred or more preliminary sketches. He was never satisfied with his works, and often painted multiple versions, years apart. He also changed and adjusted his methods constantly in order to obtain more effective arrangement and grouping and coloristic power.

Ilya Repin, A Shy Peasant (1877)
A Shy Peasant (1877)
Ilya Repin, Landscape (1891)
Landscape (1891)
Ilya Repin, St. Nicholas Saves Three Innocents From Death (1888)
St. Nicholas Saves Three Innocents From Death (1888)
Ilya Repin, Nude Model from Behind (1896)
Nude Model from Behind (1896)
Ilya Repin, Portrait of Sophia Dragomirova (1889)
Portrait of Sophia Dragomirova (1889)
Ilya Repin, Rest Portrait of Vera Repina the Artist's Wife (1882)
Rest Portrait of Vera Repina the Artist's Wife (1882)
Ilya Repin, Leo Tolstoy Barefoot (1901)
Leo Tolstoy Barefoot (1901)
Ilya Repin, Woman's Head, V.A.Repina Lying in Bed (1872)
Ilya Repin, Dragon Fly Portrait of Vera Repina the Artist's Daughter (1884)
Dragon Fly Portrait of Vera Repina the Artist's Daughter (1884)
Ilya Repin, Portrait of Jelizaveta Zvantseva (1889)
Portrait of Jelizaveta Zvantseva (1889)
Ilya Repin, Portrait of the Artist Daughter Nadezhda (1898)
Portrait of the Artist Daughter Nadezhda (1898)
Ilya Repin, To His Homeland the Hero of the Last War (1878)
To His Homeland the Hero of the Last War (1878)
Ilya Repin, Portrait of the Poet Voinov (1926)
Portrait of the Poet Voinov (1926)
Ilya Repin, Self portrait with Natalia Nordman (1903)
Self portrait with Natalia Nordman (1903)
Ilya Repin, Sadko (1876)
Sadko (1876)
Ilya Repin, Portrait of Actress Eleonora Duse (1891)
Portrait of Actress Eleonora Duse (1891)
Ilya Repin, Portrait of Nadezhda Repina the Artist's Daughter (1900)
Portrait of Nadezhda Repina the Artist's Daughter (1900)
Ilya Repin, Autumn Bouquet Portrait of Vera Repina (1892)
Autumn Bouquet Portrait of Vera Repina (1892)