Saturday, November 18, 2006

Art Blogging: Ilya Yefimovich Repin

Ilya Yefimovich Repin (1844-1930) was a Russian painter of the Peredvizhniki school. These painters, known as "The Wanderers" in English, were naturalistic realists who broke from Russian Academicism and toured the country, exhibiting independently. They painted landscapes and peasant life in quiet protest of the poverty and oppression under the Tsars. The movement faded and divided by 1900, but its influences were strongly felt in later Soviet art.

Repin endorsed revolutionary politics, but shied away from affiliating with Lenin. The October Revolution placed his home on the Finnish side of the border, and he declined an invitation by Lenin to become an artistic leader in the new Soviet Union.

Barge Haulers on the Volga at the Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg.

The Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mahmoud IV, also at the Russian State Museum. This intricately detailed canvas took 11 years to complete. The Zaporozhian Cossacks reached the peak of their military power in the 17th Century and are traditional heroes of Ukranian patriotism.

Portrait of Leo Tolstoy. Like every artist with a full stomach, Repin painted portraits for cash.


Because it's all about the Hamiltons, baby.

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