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Ilya Repin (Russian, 1844 -1930)



Ilya Yefimovich Repin /Илья Ефимович Репин was a Russian realist painter. He 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.
His major works include Barge Haulers on the Volga (1873), Religious Procession in Kursk Province (1883) and Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks (1880–1891).
Repin persistently searched for new techniques and content to give his work more fullness and depth. Repin had a set of 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 in various directions artistically, influenced by hidden aspects of social and spiritual experiences as well as national culture.
Like most Russian realists of his times, Repin often based his works on dramatic conflicts, 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.
His method was the reverse of the general approach 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, grouping and coloristic power.
Repin's style of portraiture was unique, but owed something to the influence of Édouard Manet and Diego Velázquez.







































L'opera di Repin rappresenta una delle più significative manifestazioni della cultura artistica Russa della seconda metà del XIX secolo.
Per l'ampiezza della comprensione degli aspetti della vita e del loro riflesso sull'arte, per la varietà di interessi, non ha eguali nella pittura russa precedente e contemporanea. Figlio di un modesto soldato terminò l'accademia con la medaglia d'oro per la resurrezione della figlia di Giairo.
Uno dei dipinti più complessi di Repin, lo straordinario "I Cosacchi scrivono una lettera al Sultano di Turchia", occupò molti anni della sua vita.
Ideò l'opera a seguito di letture di passatempo, ma Repin credeva davvero negli ideali dei cosacchi: libertà, eguaglianza e fratellanza; in breve, nel repubblicanesimo cosacco. Iniziato alla fine degli anni 1870, il quadro fu completato solo nel 1891.
Il dipinto, di grandi dimensioni, coglie appieno il divertimento dei cosacchi mentre sono intenti ad inventare insulti e volgarità da inserire in una lettera di risposta a quella indirizzata loro dal Sultano Mehmet IV.













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