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Ilya
Efimovich Repin
Russia 
1844−1930
Subscribe2,492
Ilya Efimovich Repin (July 24 (August 5) 1844, Chuguev, Russian Empire - September 29, 1930, Kuokkala, Finland) is the greatest Russian realist who created the epic depiction of Russian reality in all its diversity. Theories of “pure art” at some moments occupied him, but the best works of the artist are far from them, the ideological orientation of the paintings performed by Ilya Repin was not the flaw, but the strongest side.

Features of the artist Ilya Repin: subtle psychologism, relevance, mapping of public tasks and anxieties, involvement in the life and aspirations of society, frequent reference to the moment of the emotional peak of the characters. The main genres in which the master worked: portraits, historical scenes, genre painting.

Famous paintings by artist Ilya Repin: "Barge Haulers on the Volga", "The procession in the Kursk province", "Ivan the Terrible kills his son", "We did not wait", "The Cossacks write a letter to the Turkish Sultan".

Those around him already during his lifetime considered him a genius and one of the greatest artists. Repin himself called himself an "ordinary figure" and declared that he had no talent. He was a soft and compliant man and at the same time easily came into a frenzy. Could be appeasable and unpretentious when it came to him. But he barely decided that someone was encroaching on the pictorial principles, as he was ready to tear the enemy into tatters.

Ilya Repin's fiery passion

Ilya Repin was 7 years old when he first came to paint. The boy drew, painted, painted and did not want for a minute to break away from this magic. From overwork he had a nose bleed, bleeding could not stop for several days. Ilya was very weak, his relatives were ready for the fact that he would not survive. Such a dramatic initiation happened in childhood when it is customary to call it “the peak of Russian realism”.

He was excessive in assessments and passions, too violent in disputes, loudly admired other people's talents and was too unsure of his own. At the same time - extremely accurate on the canvas. Contemporaries noted his penchant for dramatization - in Repin's retelling, the visit of the milkman became like the appearance of an archangel. And in the letters he abused exclamation marks - now this number is considered a bad form. He had a gentle temperament, he himself was always courteous, sometimes even excessively, until the argument went about art - and then ... At one of the meetings of the Academy of Arts in Kuindzhinearly flew inkwell!

Repin is from Chuguev (Kharkov province). From childhood he liked to draw, sculpt. The boy was sent to the teachings of a local icon painter. He dreamed of going to the Petersburg Academy from the moment he found out about it. And since the fame of the talented young icon painter had spread all over Ukraine by that time, and there was no end of orders, he managed to raise money for a trip to Petersburg. There Repin entered the Drawing School of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists (and became acquainted with Ivan Kramskywhich in the future will be one of the ideologists of the Wanderers). At the Academy, young Repin received a perceptible click on vanity — his drawings criticized him, he was sent back home. But he was not going to give up so easily. Soon there was a patron who was ready to pay for the artist’s training as a volunteer - Fyodor Pryanishnikov, a member of the Society of Artists who appreciated Repin’s talent. However, soon Ilya passed the exam and was transferred to actual students.

He studied eagerly, his perseverance and talent did not go unnoticed. A silver medal, a small gold and a large gold, giving the right to a six-year internship abroad at the expense of the Academy - these are the results of training. Contrary to expectations, he was in no hurry to use his prize; first he had to finish the painting he was working on and which made him famous. "Barge Haulers on the Volga"they demanded to postpone the internship - Ilya Repin could not interrupt the work on the painting, and it was necessary to write it only in Russia.

It was the first big success, although there were also some critical reviews. For an internship in Europe, Repin went with his young wife Verochka Shevtsova. Information about his European period is very scattered. Korney Chukovsky wrote (in Soviet times, do not forget) that “Repin across the board of the bilakov - and in Russia, and in Italy, and in Austria”. However, at the same time such famous paintings were painted abroad as"Sadko"and "Negro", many types of cafes and household sketches, depicting is not hard work.

Repinas, peacemakers and academics were not averse to counting Repin as “his own”. Being a keen nature, he “gave advances” to representatives of different directions. There was nothing false about it, Repin was a sincere man, he earnestly admired everything that at the moment attracted him, and the next moment could change his views. On this occasion, he was repeatedly accused of instability of position and even betrayal.

Historical painting, peasant life, exiles - these topics Repin deeply touched and, by and large, they glorified his name, helped by the proximity with the Wanderers. He was also a great portrait painter. The gallery of portraits created by him is impressive with subtle psychologism and masterly skill. To write a man, he needed to be enchanted by him, “falling in love”. However, if we are talking about female portraits, the quotes are not always appropriate, Repin fell in love easily and ardently.

He was close with Leo Tolstoy, often stayed with him in Yasnaya Polyana. Repin's friends include Fedor Shalyapin, academician Bekhterev, artist Isaac Brodsky and many others. When Repin and his second wife moved to the Penaty estate in Kuokkala, Korney Chukovsky began to visit him regularly. Subsequently, Chukovsky rules Repin's autobiography “The Far Close,” and he wrote memoirs about him.

More than 10 years Ilya Repin taught at the Academy of Arts, led the painting workshop. His students are Boris Kustodiev, Igor Grabar, Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva, Nikolay Feshin, Philip Malyavin.

After the October Revolution, the estate in Kuokkale turned out to be in Finland. Nevertheless, Repin did not become disgraced in the USSR; moreover, he was declared a classic, and Stalin even equipped the delegation to return the artist to his homeland. Already an elderly Repin very yearned for Russia, but did not dare to return. However, his “canonization” in Soviet art was successfully carried out, on the one hand, that Repin was not forgotten, and on the other, for many his name became almost nominal. Meanwhile, it was a man who passionately loved paintings and women, suffered painfully from insecurity in his own gift and was ready to squash against anyone who would encroach on his ideas.

Personal life of Ilya Repin

Back when he was a student at the Academy, Repin often visited his drawing school friend. Aleksandra Shevtsova. It was rumored that he could make an offer to the eldest daughter of the family, his agemate Sonya. However, the offer did not arrive, and Ilya did not show any activity towards the girl, as if he was waiting for something. He was really waiting for - when a nine-year-old girl sunk into his soul would grow up. He wrote Vera very young, there is portrait of her sixteen. In 1872, shortly before graduating from the Academy, Repin married Vera Shevtsova. In marriage, they lived 15 years and have given birth to four children. Korney Chukovsky in his memoirs wrote about the low level of culture of the first wife of Repin as the reason for divorce. However, it will be fair to say that Repin's numerous hobbies played a significant role. He was passionate in temperament, and this was fully manifested in relations with women. And since Repin by that time was a famous man, women did not shun him. In the light of constantly gossiping about his novels. Vera Repina wanted a quiet house, where you can close yourself from strangers and take up family affairs. She was exhausted by her husband’s constant betrayal and soon faded. At first they parted, dividing the children, and later divorced.

His second marriage cannot be called happy either. Natalya Nordman-Severovawas a man of unusual fate. Suffragist, an active social activist, a writer and an ardent vegetarian, she was sure that she was destined to do great things, managed to go to America in search of her destiny, held very non-standard views and, by public notions, was ugly.

Repin wrote Princess Maria Tenisheva. He always talked with his models, tried to entertain them, and sometimes invited someone to support the conversation. It was important to him that those who posed for him would not be bored, not lose interest. Tenisheva came to the session with her either her friend, or companion Natalia Borisovna Nordman. While Repin wrote, she violently expounded her views, denounced the meat eaters, and read poems. Repin insistently asked the princess so that she would not bring the next “this one” session. A few months later, Repin and Natalia Nordman met again in Petersburg, and passion flared between them. Surrounding surprised. “Neither skin nor face, but it is as if she’s sewn to the skirt”- Repin's friend resented critic Stasov. She went to accompany Repin on his trip to Palestine, and returned, being pregnant. Newborn Natasha lived only two weeks.

Repin bought in the name of Natalia Nordman a plot of land at the Kuokkala station near St. Petersburg, where the Penaty estate was built. Natalya has arranged it, having embodied, it seems, the most part of her progressive ideas. With ridicule she was showered with every publication coming out in those years, and Repin got it. According to the memoirs of contemporaries, she appears to be such an enthusiastic and silly dummy who decided to “unleash” her name at the expense of the famous painter. However, in her letters we have a completely different person. Thinly feeling, suffering and completely unaware that at Penatah at least something belongs to her ... Ill, she went to Switzerland, where she was admitted to the hospital for the poor. From any financial assistance Repin or his friends completely refused. In her will, “Penates” were rewritten to Ilya Repin so that after his death a museum of his paintings was organized there.

"Apostasy" in the paintings of Ilya Repin

The artist Ilya Repin had other paintings - not one of those that everyone hears. He was not spared the ideas of art for the sake of art, pure art, so popular among his contemporaries. In the Soviet criticism this period, if mentioned, then in line with the betrayal of views, “went astray”, etc. With the same fervor with which he kept saying that "... our task - the content ... inks y nas - opydie, they should express our thoughts"In the 90s Repin declares: “Yes, morality prevails over everything. This old virtuous maiden has subjugated everything to herself and does not recognize anything except the good deeds of journalism. ”.

After all, bad luck - with pure aesthetics, Repin was not as good as with “sermons”. He has work close to impressionistic works (1, 2, 3). But the pinnacle of creativity Ilya Repin, these paintings just can not be called. He was not satisfied with any work created at that time, and he himself recognized that the form should not be more important than the content. He quickly moved away from this direction. But what is surprising - the last picture of the artist Ilya Repin - left unfinished "Gopak"- obviously to impressionism and even Fauvism ...

Author: Alain Esaulova
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