Anticipations of Photography. Notes on painting and photography in Russia in the second half of the 19th century
When in 1839 the world learned about the invention of photography, most artists did not think long before they recognized it as a purely scientific discovery. Few, if any, thought that photography would have an impact on the art of painting. Although the first photographs were the result of the collaboration between a scientist and an artist, and later many professional painters became photographers, and photography significantly influenced the art of painting, for a long time the artistic community was “opposed” to photography. However, if we look back at the state of painting prior to 1839, we can see a whole range of developments that seem to have broken the ground for the emergence of the new art.
In Russian art, Alexei Venetsianov’s school of painting was one such trend. The study of nature was the backbone of the artist’s new visual repertoire: “We should ‘leave behind all rules and techniques learned over the twelve years of copying at the Hermitage1 and paint ‘without trying to emulate any other artist... a la Rembrandt, a la Rubens or such, but to paint, so to say, a la Natura.”” Students at the dominant Academy were first taught to draw separate body parts, faces and entire bodies using special anatomical charts, then they copied classic paintings from prints, and it was not before the final stage of the learning process that the fledgling artist could use nature as a model. Venetsianov truly turned the academic course on its head: he taught that the painter must look at real nature first and foremost and instructed his students, rather than tediously copying classic images for years and years, to “start examining nature at once in its plain geometric outlines”.2 Venetsianov was at odds with the Academy — many contemporaries believed that his theory of painting “a la Natura” was based on his misconception of the elevated mission of art and suited only for reproduction of objects. Venetsianov was criticized for “blindly emulating” nature; his method of encouraging students to seek “the artful naturalness of images”3 was disapproved of. In the opinion of Venetsianov’s contemporaries, his concentration on nature was too primitive, even destructive. Though the art critic Baron Nikolai Wrangel saw in Alexander Stupin’s art school in Arzamas, which was a predecessor of Venetsianov’s, as well as in the artwork of Maxim Vorobyev’s students and some artists of non-Russian descent such as August Dezarno, Wilhelm-August Golike, Karl Gampeln — the same “search for truth”, the search for that “guileless” art which does not choose “objects to portray but, with childlike carefreeness, tells a tale of contemporaries and their ‘happiness’. . Everyone is set to picture the world of the everyday and the ordinary, which, they believe, is beautiful . Artists here are preoccupied as much with people as they are with furniture.”4 Later, the artist Apollon Mokritsky, Venetsianov’s former student, saw in his teacher’s style only naturalism without substance: “Audacity unheard-of”; an attempt to leave aside “techniques” and “to seek. answers to mind-racking problems directly, simply in nature”.5 Likewise, two decades on, the argument of the day would be that a photographic still, as a mere picture of nature, cannot be a work of art.
The landscape artist Sylvestr Shchedrin, too, was criticized for “excessive emphasis on nature”: “swept away by love for nature,” wrote the author of an article about him, “and laying down as a principle that he must study it continuously, he almost neglected compositional arrangement of landscapes. This led him — developed in him the habit — to analyze individual objects, so that his eye often failed to see in nature itself a holistic view.”6 Shchedrin himself valued those artists who created a “perfect impression of nature”, and for this reason he disapproved of Fyodor Matveev’s paintings: “Between ourselves, very dry, never paints from nature, relies only on awful pictures”.7 Shchedrin’s focus on “local view”, his refusal to re-arrange images of the surroundings and to paint landscapes out of his imagination significantly changed the approaches to nature, emphasizing its value on its own terms.
For Venetsianov, the key method for accurately capturing the images of nature was perspective — “making the eyes prepared to see nature accurately, in conformity with the laws of nature”.8 For an 1824 show Venetsianov submitted a painting called “Barnyard” (1822-1823, Russian Museum), which earned him recognition as an artist specializing in perspective-focused paintings, although the painter himself expressed his disagreement with such a definition. At the Academy, compositions with perspective were regarded as a separate genre, and artists specializing in it were to pay special attention to perspective. Venetsianov, on his part, did not think of perspective-focused painting as a special “kind” of art — he believed that drawing a perspective was only a skill necessary for portraying nature in true-to-life fashion. “I have never,” the artist wrote, “focused my students on perspective alone; drawing the interior of rooms has not been an introduction to the so-called perspective-focused painting, but must be and has been the starting point of familiarizing the eye with nature”.9 Unlike at the Academy of Fine Arts, where perspective drawing and colour design were taught separately, Venetsianov demanded that his students concentrated both on perspective and the handling of dark-and-light and colour.
Many paintings by Venetsianov and his students feature mirrors or mirror reflections. Such works include Alexei Venetsianov’s “Diana Dressing” (1847, Tretyakov Gallery); Alexei Tyranov’s “Studio of the Brothers Grigory and Nikanor Chemetsov” (1828, Russian Museum), and “Alexei Venetsianov’s Study” by Fyodor Slavyansky (end of 1830s — early 1840s, Tretyakov Gallery); Yevgraf Krendovsky’s “Preparations for the Hunt” (1836, Tretyakov Gallery); Kapiton Zelentsov’s “Inside the Rooms” and “Sitting-room in the Attic” (both end of the 1820s — early 1830s, Tretyakov Gallery); Mikhail Davydov’s “Inside the Rooms” (1834, Tretyakov Gallery); Alexander Alexeev’s “Alexei Venetsianov’s Studio” (1827, Russian Museum); Grigory Soroka’s “Reflection in a Mirror” (the second half of the 1840s, Russian Museum). The mirror was not merely a detail of the interior, nor was it portrayed solely as such — perhaps Venetsianov and his students saw in it also a token or a signal indicating their unwavering loyalty to nature; it was as if the presence of a mirror or introduction of a mirror into the picture sharpened the perception of nature, and also demonstrated to the observer that the artist was painting “from nature”. Venetsianov’s mirror is not a mirror that distorts but one that reflects. Besides, his compositions often feature a window, a doorway, a suite of rooms — all that serves to duplicate an image, to make it more involved, to add additional layers to it, to make it “natural-looking” — the way the human eye sees it.
Apart from focus on nature, the painters’ experiments with light, too, can be seen as a development in art toward photography. The problem of light — conveying and using the effects of lighting — greatly interested artists in the early 19th century. “But what has been mastered best of all nowadays is lighting,”10 noted Nikolai Gogol in his essay about Karl Bryullov’s painting “The Last Day of Pompeii”. Gogol believed that the entire 19th century was a century of effects: “All this effect which is spread in the air and which results from the struggle between light and dark — this effect has become the goal sought by all our artists. It can be said that the 19th century is a century of effects.”11 One of the factors that explain the “magic” Venetsianov perceived in Frangois-Marius Granet’s painting “Inside a Capuchin Convent” (1818, Hermitage) is its portrayal of an artificially-lit space. The image had a special air of mysticism about it. Shchedrin, too, was interested in the effects of artificial lighting, and critics often noted that nature in his pictures was represented as if it was a home interior.
In the late 18th century volcanoes became a very popular subject. Public attention became concentrated on “lighting effects, contrasts of fire and smoke, sun, moon, lava and patches of light on the surface of the sea”. A community of volcano observers was formed in the south of Italy. Elisabeth-Louise Vigee le Brun, a painter who worked at the Russian court for a while, summed up her impressions thus: “I think that Naples is to be regarded as a captivating magic lantern”.12 Some artists emulated volcanic activity using tinted glass and special “prismatic lights” to recreate the effect of illumination produced by erupting volcanos.
The subject of volcanoes grew more popular as Louis Daguerre’s dioramas gained favour with the public. From 1827 onward, stagings of volcanic eruptions became a feature at many Parisian theatres.13 Apparently, Bryullov too did not remain immune to the general passion for volcanoes, their dramatic activity and the richness of their illumination. Another artist who comes to mind in this regard is the landscape painter Maxim Vorobyev with his disturbing nocturnal images shot through with lightning strokes.
In addition to lighting, another popular theme was that of trans-illumination, transparency, and the dematerialization of the plane, whether the plane of a wall or a canvas. In the 1810s, the eagerness to capture on canvas movements of light in atmosphere started to transform the canvas itself into a transparency. 1809 saw the first European show of paintings on glass: artists used oil paint, but applied it to glass instead of canvas.
At the same time as transparency painting gained a foothold in Russia in the 1830s, Gothic-style church buildings adorned with stained glass became popular. The artist Timofei Neff designed a Gothic chapel in Peterhof, and Neff accomplished the paintings for the iconostasis and the composition “Resurrection of Christ” behind the altar in 1833. Later, copies of Neff’s compositions “Angel of Prayer” and “Angel near the Holy Sepulchre”, painted on glass by an artist from the Imperial Glass Plant G. Vasiliev were mounted in marigold windows over side-doors flanking the iconostasis. Caspar David Friedrich made several transparency paintings for the Russian empress. In his letter to Vasily Zhukovsky he explained in detail how these unusual pieces should be mounted for display.
Vladimir Odoevsky in his novel “Yfear 4338. Letters from St. Petersburg”, written in 1835, described a transparent crystalline architecture of the future: “I write to you from a beautiful house whose bulbous roof carries a huge inscription with crystal letters: Hotel for visitors arriving by air. These arrangements have become customary here: rich homes either have crystal roofs or roofs faced with white crystal tiles, with the owners’ names composed of coloured crystal pieces. At night, when the inside of the homes is illuminated, these shining arrays of housetops make for a magic spectacle.”14 Characters in the novel wear mantles made of glass and dresses made of crystal, all adorned with radiant insects. The famous Crystal Palace erected in London in 1851 to a design by Joseph Paxton became the symbol of the dematerialization of the plane.
Transparent, see-through figures are a fixture in Venetsianov’s paintings, such as “Barnyard”, “On a Tillage. Springtime” (first half of the 1820s, Tretyakov Gallery). “Its illusoriness and ghostliness,” wrote Valery Turchin about “Springtime”, “are highlighted by the fact that this figure is painted over the landscape, which shows through it. In a second, this and other figures will be gone. These are images of the ‘magic lantern’ on a canvas, which Alexander Pushkin called ‘spectres’, ‘vanishing pictures’.”15
Arguably, other devices used in that age by artists, such as camera obscura and camera lucida, also presaged the emergence of photography. Before the arrival of photography, painting was assigned a documenting function, i.e. the function of recording and distributing information — often painters had to function as reporters. To do this, they used technical appliances such as camera obscura — a device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen. Mikhail Makhaev is known to have utilized a camera obscura, and he made the distinction between “taking stills” with a camera obscura and painting from drawings: he signed his architectural landscapes “drawn by M.Makhaev”, and drawings made with a camera obscura — “taken by M.Makhaev”.16 Alexander Ivanov asked his brother to buy him a camera lucida for painting in the open air.
Artists were often recruited to document geographical expeditions, and in the early 19th century artists started to travel more extensively across Russia with the purpose of recording the views of cities and localities. Preparing for an expedition, the artists were supplied with instructions requiring them to record everything the eye could see, in a most detailed manner and reproducing real-life colours. In effect, they were expected to create “photographic” images of places and people.
Camera obscura was a device for quickly capturing an image of the surroundings. This property of the contraption was in line with the general ambition of the age to accumulate information quickly: as the rhythms of life accelerated, artists “pushed forward” to observe and record nature. The application by the artists of the camera obscura was effectively a rehearsal for photography. “Today I need quick sketches from nature as strongly as a painter working on a large picture needs studies,” wrote Nikolai Gogol. “Although the painter apparently does not use these studies in his picture, he constantly checks himself against them to avoid muddle and mistakes, and to remain loyal to nature”.17
The philosopher Pierre Francastel summed up the essence of the changes that were occurring: “Great mysteries of nature instantly ceased to be compounds and to be remote. They became details located in the closest proximity; and finally, details that were no longer related to the object of perception, but were related to perception itself, captured, if we may say so, in a crude form in the very organ of perception.”18 Artists became interested not only — and in the future, not so much — in the object as in the mechanics of vision.
Painters’ approaches to nature were changing qualitatively, with sketches and studies becoming more valuable as something “taken” directly from nature. Time allowed for perceiving and contemplating was quickly dwindling, and gradually “a new type of observer, moving away from ‘normal’ vision to a vision centered on fragments and details”19 was formed.
Arguably, in addition to the painters’ new approach to nature, such experiments with light and application of optical devices, the “sharpened sense of history” prevalent in the first third of the 19th century, was also an “anticipation” of photography. That age was in a hurry to find itself historically — to use Turchin’s words, “the individual at the time of Alexander I lived to write a memoir”.20
So serious and studious an approach to history put the genre of historical composition at the forefront of the art of painting. The portrait was second in the academic hierarchy of genres, but first in popularity, and it was under Alexander I that the rapid evolution of portraiture began. “Almost all of the exhibition space,” wrote the author of an article in an 1820 issue of the “Syn Otechestva” (Son of the Fatherland) magazine, “is occupied by portraits”.21 For the first time in history the public developed an enthusiasm for “collecting celebrities”. The portrait became the most popular genre: “A home without portraits was not considered a home”.22
Miniature and engraved portraits, which could be taken along while traveling or to a war front, were popular too. The memorial function of the portrait gained priority over its artistic quality.
The greatest “portrait project” of the age was the War Gallery of1812 at the Winter Palace, accomplished by the Englishman George Dawe, who came to Russia in 1819; it numbered 332 images of the Emperor and the commanders-in-chief and heroes of the 1812 campaign. Dawe was criticized for his method of securing engravings and lithographs on a canvas and painting over them, so as to accomplish as many portraits as possible within the shortest time.
The demand for information, and its wide dissemination — in other words, making information accessible to large segments of society grew. Painting could no longer satisfy this public demand — but photography could.
The discovery of photography, tantamount to a full mastery of nature, heralded the end of the Renaissance: after its arrival, the craft of painting and the skill of recreating nature became less valuable and less valued. When photography emerged, craft, previously the necessary component of the painter’s “workmanship” to be honed over years of study, became something open to all. It used to be thought that art was something that could not be easily mastered. Photography’s ready availability annoyed artists — people now could compare painted and photographed images. Photography put painters in a new environment, where they had “to build new relations with nature from scratch”. As time went on, many painters found themselves “caught” in the trap of photography. This group included Sergei Zaryanko and his students. Zaryanko had studied under Venetsianov, for whom engaging with nature was of paramount importance, but the latter’s principle of careful study of nature was transformed by Zaryanko into extreme naturalism. He aspired to a complete “sameness” of the reality and its image, rejecting creativity because it lacked mathematical calculation: “I like positive work and the mathematical mastery of the craft; I distrust painting from impressions and creating by inspiration, as some despicable artists put it... if you learn the craft mathematically, we shall gain the positive knowledge — how to produce paintings and portraits, and you will never invoke mischance or lack of inspiration. There is no mischance in art, and likewise, there is no inspiration, for inspiration is a dream, a sheer nonsense, an absurdity.. Precision, gentlemen, is to be achieved not through fantasies, creativity or inspiration, but through work, patience and invention of all possible methods for the mathematical study of nature”.23 Zaryanko’s students, according to Vasily Perov’s memoir, “honed” their pictures “into so perfect and smooth a state that a wrought-iron fly would barely hold up on it — in a word, they whetted it, not with a pencil, but ‘with the nose of or a stinger mosquito’.”24 Zaryanko became notorious, his artwork always cited as an example of excessively naturalist painting. It can be reasonably argued that Zaryanko’s portraits were precursors of photographs, an attempt to create photography by means of painting, to present imagery “more real than reality itself”.
Zaryanko took faithfulness to nature to an absurd extreme, to ridiculous naturalism; his working method was called “the frigid daguerreotyping of reality”. In his compositions the invisible but once solid and secure wall between artwork and its observer thinned and collapsed. The magic of art was gradually vanishing — neither Venetsianov, nor Bryullov, nor Alexander Ivanov, in their pursuit of nature, had aspired to destroy the boundary between reality and image, keeping the fourth wall effect intact. On the contrary, Zaryanko’s models started to “leave” the portraits. This story was recounted in Nikolai Gogol’s amazingly prophetic short story “The Portrait” (written in 1833-1834 and reworked in 1841-1842, after the discovery of photography). It was precisely the destruction of this invisible wall between art and reality that the professor in the story warned the young artist Tchartkoff against: “‘Look here, my friend,’ his professor said to him more than once, ‘you have talent; it will be a shame if you waste it. But you are impatient. ... See to it that you do not become a fashionable artist. At present your colouring is beginning to assert itself too loudly. Your drawing is not taut, and at times quite weak, the line does not show itself; you are already striving after the fashionable illumination, after what strikes the eye at once.’”25 In essence, the professor warns the young artist against turning into a photographer who, neglecting quality, makes up for it in quantity, knowing how to impress the uninformed public with look-alike portraits.
Professor Zaryanko’s artistic method and principle of creative work presented, to some extent, a dead-end in the art of painting. The artist’s contemporaries realized it fairly soon, and after they had done so, the phrase “Zaryanko style” became a negative label. Zaryanko’s works were generally regarded as a discredit to the art of portraiture.
Somewhat similarly, Ivan Kramskoi’s pictures were more than once criticized for their absence of colouring, a factor attributed to the artist’s retouching skill. When Kramskoi worked at the studio of the photographer Henri Denier in St. Petersburg, he was called “a god of retouch”. Vladimir Stasov in one of his letters to Tretyakov spoke very harshly about Kramskoi’s artwork: “My opinion about Kramskoi is completely at variance with that held by most people: this is not a success in colouring, but only ‘pretensions’ of a person who does not have a mastery of colouring and works ‘in a European fashion’. Ginsburg’s children, Madame Voghau, the cocotte in the carriage — this is not painting, this is pretensions!”26 The series of monochrome portraits with white margins created by Kramskoi in the early 1870s — images of Fyodor Vasiliev, Mikhail Clodt, Mark Antokolsky, Sofia Kramskoi, Konstantin Savitsky, Denis Fonvizin — is well known. “The portraits of Mr. Tulinov,” wrote the newspaper “Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti” in 1862 about Kramskoi, “Count D.A.Tolstoy and especially Duchess E.A.Vasilchikova, accomplished by the artist, would have been impeccably perfect works, if the artist had a mastery of colour as flawless as his mastery of drawing, intelligence and taste in arranging sitters, and skill in choosing proper accessories for them.”27 Kramskoi’s experience at the photographer’s studio had an impact on his artwork — he “forever preserved the manner of creating the volume of a face with fine touches and a thin brush, the partiality for textureless surface, inconspicuous painterly relief”.28
Vasily Vereshchagin was also faulted by critics for the “photography-like quality” of his paintings. The publication “Fotografichesky Vestnik” (Photographic Bulletin) opined in 1888 that Vereshchagin’s work “The Matu Mosque in Delhi” (according to the London magazine “Photography News”) “is nothing more than an enlarged photograph with accessories inserted within. Because of this, questions are being asked whether our painter could have taken along to the war a heliographic device, which would explain the photographic nature of his pictures.”29 Sometimes suspicions about Vereshchagin’s possible use of photography were taken to absurd lengths. The artist related one such incident in a 1898 letter from Moscow to Fyodor Bulgakov: “Hardly had I opened here a modest show of my new works when a journalist from a rag sheet shot at me, surely with a bullet prepared in advance, saying that I simply photographed Napoleon I with his command staff on the Borodinsky Heights”.30 In 1874 Kramskoi signed a petition by eleven artists defending Vereshchagin against accusations of using technical devices while working on paintings and sketches from his Turkestan series.31
As for Ilya Repin’s piece “Ceremonial Session of the State Council on 7 May 1901, the Council’s Centenary Anniversary” (1901-1903, Russian Museum), the critics remarked that this piece “had few signs of artistic exploration”. Working on the composition, Repin used his camera to photograph every member of the Council. 130 stills were made overall: the images of Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolaievich, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, Sergei Witte, Ivan Shamshin, Alexander Polovtsov, Sergei Volkonsky, Nikolai Gerard, and Ivan Goremykin were made using photographs. Repin tried to “capture” the State Council members in natural poses, talking, in groups and alone. Working on the image of Vyacheslav von Plehve, Repin took ten photographs of the man.
“You argue,” wrote Repin, “that my State Council painting had few signs of exploration. You’re perspicacious! For I had a Kodak with me; all right, a bad one. the photograph came out crummy, and yet the essence showed well enough to be used — this alone was a blessing. So what else is to be sought? You want realism — here is the picture you want! Although a bad and blurry one. But it is the essence that matters the most: because this is a chronicle!.. There is no exploration to replace this sort of material, and I thank God for this blessing!!!”32
Photography brought about a tragedy in the life of the artist Konstantin Kryzhitsky. It turned out that Kryzhitsky used a still in his painting called “A Whiff of Spring”. Another painter, Yakov Brovar, used the same still in his piece “A View in Biafowieza Forest”. The resemblance in both images struck the eye, and a debate in the newspapers ensued. Kryzhitsky was accused of plagiarism and, unable to withstand the disgrace, killed himself.33
Usually, artists were disinclined to reveal that they made use of photographs in the course of their work on paintings, and even mentions of photography with respect to their art are hard to find. It became a matter of general consensus that the painter disgraced himself when resorting to photography. And yet photography was a permanent fixture in artistic activities, and painters could no longer ignore it. Only later, in the early 20th century, did artists come to understand that photography was not a dull recreation, a spiritless copy of nature, and — recognizing it as an autonomous art — started using it in a different fashion. Photographed images were now subject to more abstract interpretations; like paintings by Symbolist artists, they were regarded now as an evocation of reality, an echo of the stirrings of a soul. Photography was no longer a “hindrance” to creative activity, and the “traps of photography” became a thing of the past.
- Cited from: Alexeeva, Tatyana. Artists of Venetsianov's School. Moscow, 1982. P. 160.
- Ibid. P.76.
- Ibid. P.11.
- Ibid. P.19.
- Ibid. P.14.
- Fedorov-Davydov, Alexander. Russian Lanscape. XVII - early XIX century. Moscow, 1953. P. 259.
- Ibid. P. 254.
- Alexeeva. op.cit. P. 83.
- Ibid. P. 149.
- Gogol, Nikolai. Essays. The Last Day of Pompeii. St. Petersburg, 1894. P. 333.
- Ibid. P. 332.
- Iampolski, Mikhail. Observer. Essays on History of Vision. Moscow, 2000. P. 101.
- Ibid. P. 109.
- Odoevsky, Vladimir. Year 4338. Letters from St. Petersburg // Looking through the Centuries. Мoscow, 1977. P. 247.
- Turchin, Valery. Alexander I and Neo-Classicism in Russia. Moscow, 2001. P. 182.
- Fedorov-Davydov, op.cit. P. 291.
- Cited from: Vinogradov, I.A. Alexander Ivanov: Letters, Documents, Memoirs. Moscow, 2001. P. 310.
- Iampolski, op.cit. P. 41.
- Ibid. P. 9.
- Turchin, op.cit. P. 18.
- Ibid. P. 440.
- Cited from: Prominent Artists about Art. In 7 volumes. Moscow, 1965-1970. Vol. 6. 1969. P. 402.
- Ibid. P. 411.
- Gogol, Nikolai. The Portrait. Moscow, 1994. P. 62.
- Correspondence between Pavel Tretyakov and Vladimir Stasov. Moscow, 1949. P. 81.
- Cited from: Ivan Kramskoi. Show Commemorating 150th Anniversary of the Artist's Birth. Moscow, 1988. P. 58.
- Karpova, Tatyana. Ivan Kramskoi. Moscow, 2000. P. 5.
- Fotografichesky Vestnik (Photography Newsletter). 1888. No. 1. P. 23.
- Vereshchagin, Vassily. Memoirs of the Artist's Son. Leningrad, 1982. P. 111.
- Ivan Kramskoi, op.cit. P. 15.
- Cited from: Kirillina, Elena. On Ilya Repin's work with nature. Material from the artist's photo-archive. //Ilya Repin. In Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of His Birth. St Petersburg, 1995. P. 102.
- Kryzhitsky, Grigory. The Fate of the Artist. (Remembering Konstantin Kryzhitsky). Kiev, 1966. Pp. 62-64.
Oil on canvas. 81 × 81 cm. Tretyakov Gallery
Oil on canvas. 51.2 × 65.5 cm. Tretyakov Gallery
Oil on canvas. 162.5 × 97.3 cm. Tretyakov Gallery
Oil on canvas. 44.5 × 72.3 cm. Tretyakov Gallery
Oil on canvas. 41.3 × 38.5 cm. Russian Museum
Oil on canvas. 175 × 127 cm. Hermitage
Oil on canvas. 35 × 43 cm. Tretyakov Gallery
Oil on canvas. 146.4 × 120.5 cm. Tretyakov Gallery
Oil on canvas. 26.5 × 21.6 cm. Tretyakov Gallery
Oil on canvas. 121.5 × 95.4 cm. Tretyakov Gallery
Oil on canvas. 116 × 81 cm. Tretyakov Gallery
Oil on canvas. 88.3 × 68.3 cm. Tretyakov Gallery
Oil on canvas. 226 × 148 cm. Tretyakov Gallery
Oil on canvas. 95 × 77 cm. Tretyakov Gallery
Oil on canvas. 400 × 877 cm. Russian Museum
Photo by Ilya Repin. Russian Academy of Arts
Photograph by Ilya Repin. Russian Academy of Arts
Oil on canvas. Detail. Russian Museum
Photograph by Ilya Repin. Detail. Archive of the Russian Academy of Arts
Study for the painting Ceremonial Session of the State Council on 7 May 1901, the Councilʼs Centenary Anniversary. 1901-1903
Oil on canvas. 89 × 62.5 cm. Russian Museum
Photo by Ilya Repin. Archive of the Russian Academy of Arts
Oil on canvas. 204.5 × 147.7 cm. Tretyakov Gallery