Happy Birthday to Ilya Repin!

The famous Ruassian artist Ilya Repin was born on August 5, 1844.

Ilya Repin. Self-portrait. 1878
Ilya Repin. Self-portrait. 1878
Oil on canvas. 60.5 × 49.6 cm
© Russian Museum

"Ilya Repin remains one of the most highly esteemed painters in Russian art, his name representative of Russian realist art in general and of the “Peredvizhniki" (Wanderers) in particular. In addition, Repin is one of the few Russian artists to have left a mark on Western European art of the 19th century. His career spanned many decades, and he never ceased to surprise his contemporaries with his new approaches to painting and unexpected treatment of traditional motifs and forms of expression. He is universally considered the leading artist of his era, a master whose work not only determined various of the directions that Russian art would subsequently take, but also shaped a particular artistic tradition. Repin's works, both as a painter and graphic artist, continue to be something of a benchmark for 19th century Russian art, the ultimate expression of everything that is unique and emblematic about it."" (Tatyana Yudenkova. “I love variety...” ILYA REPIN’S INDEFATIGABLE NOVELTY ACROSS TIME AND GENRE).

We present to your attention articles published in our magazine devoted to art works of this remarkable artist.

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Tatyana Yudenkova
“I love variety...” ILYA REPIN’S INDEFATIGABLE NOVELTY ACROSS TIME AND GENRE

#1 2019 (62)

Marking the 175th anniversary of the birth of Ilya Repin (1844-1930), the Tretyakov Gallery is staging a major exhibition of the artist’s works on Krymsky Val. Running until August 2019, it brings together more than 170 paintings and 130 drawings from 27 Russian and foreign museums as well as a number of private collections, featuring both works for which Repin has always been famous and pieces that will be new to the general viewer, including some never shown at the Tretyakov before. Presented chronologically, it follows the evolution of the artist’s career from his academic period through to his final compositions of the 1920s. It gives particular prominence to Repin’s large-scale paintings “dedicated to Russia” - to the fate and fortunes of its prominent individuals, to the Russian people as an entity, and to the nation itself - that cover the period from the aftermath of the 1860s reforms through to the revolutions of the 20th century.

EXCLUSIVE PUBLICATIONS

Galina Churak
Death and Resurrection. REPIN AND THE ETERNAL THEMES OF HUMAN EXISTENCE

#1 2019 (62)

Ilya Repin has often been associated, for critics and art-lovers alike, with his pictures focused on the "burning” issues of his day, as well as known for his large-scale historical compositions and the extensive series of portraits that he painted of his contemporaries. It seemed as if his life, so continuous in its artistic endeavour, could have no space left for other genres or topics. But recent scholarship has brought renewed attention to another facet of his work - his paintings on religious themes.

HERITAGE

Yelena Terkel
Ilya Repin in Paris. STAGES IN THE ARTIST’S ENGAGEMENT WITH THE CITY OF LIGHTS

#1 2019 (62)

Historically, Paris has proved irresistible to many of Russia’s greatest cultural figures - artists, writers and musicians alike. Vibrant and inspirational, simultaneously ancient and contemporary, it has always been a place of celebration, love and beauty. Ilya Repin visited Paris on various occasions in the last three decades of the 19 th century, leaving behind a fascinating record of the rich variety of experiences, both personal and artistic, that he found there.

POINT OF VIEW

Yekaterina Shcherbakova
Repin as the Mirror of the "People’s Will". REFLECTIONS OF THE "NARODNAYA VOLYA" MOVEMENT IN THE ARTIST’S WORKS

#1 2019 (62)

Ilya Repin was keenly sensitive to the reformist context of his time, and reflected the political nuances of Russian society in a number of his most important paintings, most significantly “They Did Not Expect Him”. Particularly revealing are those works associated with the “Narodnaya Volya”, or “People’s Will” organization, which was an integral part of the much wider sociopolitical “Narodnik” movement - from narod, “the people” - of the 1870s-1890s.

INVESTIGATIONS AND FINDS

Irina Zhukova
Tracing the Story of a Drawing Attributed to Repin. A LITERARY-ARTISTIC LINK BETWEEN ILYA REPIN AND IVAN LEONTIEV (SHCHEGLOV) EXPLORED

#1 2019 (62)

In 2008, the Alexander Radishchev Art Museum in Saratov acquired a graphite pencil drawing, on a small sheet of yellowed paper (19 x 13.5 cm), that was catalogued as “I. Repin (?). Portrait of a Man”. It depicts a middle-aged man in pince-nez sitting at a table; he is holding a pencil, or perhaps a quill, in his right hand, and resting his chin on his left hand. The man’s head is turned to the left ever so slightly - deep in thought, he does not look at the viewer; his hair is a little dishevelled, and he seems ready to get back to his work. The artist’s signature and the date, “Ilya Repin. 90”, are in the lower right-hand corner, with “23 Apr.” inscribed below, in the centre of the sheet. An attribution of such significance clearly required confirmation by specialists: this article follows attempts to establish the provenance of the work.

EXCLUSIVE PUBLICATIONS

Olga Davydova
Yury Repin - the Hermit of Penaty. BALANCING THE TIES OF FAMILY WITH ART AND RELIGION

#1 2019 (62)

Born in 1877, Yury Repin was the third child, and only son of Ilya Repin and Vera Shevtsova. By the first decade of the 20th century he had emerged as an artist in his own right, earning acclaim for his historical paintings and lyrical landscapes, and particularly as a portraitist. As his career progressed, religious themes, especially drawn from the Gospels, gradually became dominant in his work. In 1909, he moved to Kuokkala, where he ran an art school; after the revolution, he remained in exile outside Russia, close company for his father until the latter’s death in 1930. Yury Repin died in Finland in 1954: today, his work is little known, even in art history circles.

“GRANY” FOUNDATION PRESENTS

Irina Medvedeva
"Living and working with Repin!" IN HIS MASTER’S FOOTSTEPS: THE LIFE AND ART OF MICHAEL WERBOFF

#1 2019 (62)

The artist Michael Alexander Werboff (1896-1996) began his creative life as a student of Ilya Repin. After leaving Russia in the first wave of emigration, his career flourished, first in France, then later in America: he went on to paint portraits of many outstanding individuals from world culture, as well as prominent public figures, including kings and presidents. Even as he gained recognition in the West, Werboff remained true to the traditions of Russian realist art, in particular to Repin’s influence as his mentor and spiritual father.

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Galina Churak
The World of Ilya Repin and His Contemporaries

№4 2005 (09)

“The World of Ilya Repin and His Contemporaries” opened in the Wuppertal Arts Museum on October 9. 46 canvases and 30 graphic works from the Tretyakov Gallery display Repin’s painting and drawing, alongside 30 works by artists from his circle. With some such figures the artist had studied at the Academy of Arts, while with others he shared common interests through the group of artists known as the Wanderers (the “Peredvizhniki”). It can be said of the painters concerned, both as individuals and collectively, that they constituted an artistic group that thought in similar terms.

HISTORY OF A MASTERPIECE

V. KALASHNIKOV
TO STOP BLOODSHED?

№1 2004 (02)

IN A COLLECTION OF THE BESTKNOWN RUSSIAN PAINTINGS THIS ONE STANDS APART. ITS DISTINCTION IS OF A CONTROVERSIAL CHARACTER. PAINTED BY AN OUTSTANDING ARTIST IT HAS ACHIEVED A NOTORIETY OF THE KIND THAT ALSO MARKS "THREE BOGATYRS" BY VICTOR VASNETSOV, OR VASILY PEROV’S "TROIKA" OR FEDOTOV’S GENREPIECES. True, if the portrait of a personality is based on a common archetype of some kind, it inevitably provokes various associations which, among others, might be satirical or ironic. Such portraits usually generate popular logos and caricature. But here again "Ivan the Terrible" stands apart. Striking a high pitch of exaltation and stretched nerves, the canvas provoked a dramatic episode that happened over twenty-five years after the picture was painted. Some ninety years ago, on the eve of the Romanovs’ 300th anniversary celebration, Abram Balashev, a deranged Old Believer, lashed out at the canvas with a knife crying: "Stop the bloodshed! Stop the bloodshed!" The public was shocked, while the press exploded with an avalanche of letters-to-the-editor. The subject under debate went beyond scrutinizing the artistic merits of the picture or Abram Balashev’s abnormal behavior. As is usually the case with the Russian intelligentsia, a particular question grew into a discussion of matters of a wider aesthetic and ethical nature, which happen to be relevant even today, and take on new connotations at different times.

 

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