Ilya Yefimovich Repin: A Russian Master Of Light & Life

On September 26, 2014 by Tim Newman
Ilya Repin - Volga Boatmen (1870-1873)

Volga Boatmen (1870-1873)

Ilya Yefimovich Repin (1844-1930) is the most celebrated painter from 19th century Russia, and from the works below you can see how he rightfully attained such a standing.

I heartily recommend clicking to enlarge the images, the expressions on the faces and the tiny touches of light are breathtaking, especially the picture at the top of the Volga boatmen.

Repin was born into a relatively poor military family and he himself went to military school in what became modern day Ukraine. In later life Repin admitted that his childhood wasn’t particularly happy due in large part to his constant military surroundings.

Ilya Repin - What freedom!

What freedom!

Ilya Repin - Kurskaya korennaya

Kurskaya korennaya

In the 1870’s Repin spent some time working with the Salon in Paris and moved to Moscow in 1876. Later in life he travelled to Austria, Italy and Germany to further display his wonderous works, soak up inspiration and hone new techniques.

Ilya Repin - Ivan The Terrible

Ivan The Terrible

Ilya Repin - Self-portrait with Natalia Nordman (1903)

Self-portrait with Natalia Nordman (1903)

As a man of less than noble birth, his paintings often revolved around the interests and subject matter of peasants and peasantry. One of his artist buddies – Kramskoi – wrote of Repin…

Repin is capable of depicting the Russian peasant exactly as he is. I know many artists who have painted peasants, some of them very well, but none of them ever came close to what Repin does.

Ilya Repin - Self Portrait

Self Portrait


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