Portrait of the composer M. P. Mussorgsky

Ilya Efimovich Repin • Painting, 1881, 71.8×58.5 cm
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35.3 × 43.3 cm • 231 dpi
54.3 × 67.7 cm • 150 dpi
27.1 × 33.9 cm • 300 dpi
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About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Portrait
Style of art: Realism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1881
Size: 71.8×58.5 cm
Artwork in selections: 64 selections
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Description of the artwork «Portrait of the composer M. P. Mussorgsky»

Portrait Of Mussorgsky Repin painted over four days from 14 to 17 March (2-5 March, new style). The painting was created in the hospital where friends had placed the composer during an attack of delirium tremens. The tragedy of great talent, burned from a nervous condition and alcoholism passed in this portrait – the only one in vivo image of Mussorgsky.

Pavel Tretyakov I bought the portrait without seeing it and only hearing that Repin at the hospital says the patient Mussorgsky. Knew and Musorgsky and Repin, the critic Vladimir Stasov described this work: "Of all who knew Mussorgsky, there was nobody who would be left in awe of this portrait – so it is vital, as it is similar, so it is right and just transmits all nature, all nature, the entire appearance of Mussorgsky".

Need very badly to know Ilya Repin, to assume that he liked it. He was outraged by the article by Stasov, what Tom and said in a letter, saying that she "like advertising, suffer from exaggerated and strong passion".

The special feeling of this portrait due to the fact that in his condition Mussorgsky could "pose." Not being able to set the easel Repin was just attached near to the sick friend and almost "on a knee" wrote Mussorgsky. Smelled in a hospital gown over the shirt, with disheveled hair, with an indescribable pain, desperation, and like the feeling of closeness of death in the eyes Mussorgsky appears in this portrait, frozen in the moment, or in eternity.

Repin not flattered, comrade red nose, circles under the eyes clearly indicate that it ruined his talent. True, the deep green of the hospital gown partially compensates for the red color of the face, but embellishment is not called. The face, eyes, the whole figure is depicted full of dignity and manly acceptance of his fate. Repin managed to fit in written in four days, a portrait of the exhausted physical and mental state of the composer to convey his suffering and his indomitable spirit. Titan, broken, but unbowed their own weakness and misery – such is the portrait of Mussorgsky by Repin.

By the way, to modest Mussorgsky dedicated the last picture of Repin himself, which he wrote in after the revolution became Finnish territory of his estate in Kuokkala – "Hopak". In a letter to Chukovsky Repin feels that this picture will remain incomplete: "Such a shame: I will not be able to finish...".

Author: Alain Esaulova