Resurrection of Jairus’s Daughter

Ilya Efimovich Repin • Painting, 1871, 229×382 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Religious scene
Style of art: Realism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1871
Size: 229×382 cm
Artwork in selections: 63 selections

Description of the artwork «Resurrection of Jairus’s Daughter»

"Resurrection of the daughter of Jairus" - graduation work of Ilya Repin, who brought him the Academy's Big Gold Medal and provided retirement internship in Europe. A little background. Repin communicated closely with Kramsky and sympathized with the famous Riot of fourteen, of which Kramskoy was a participant. In 1863, fourteen of the best graduates of the Imperial Academy of Arts refused to participate in the competition for the Great Gold Medal after the leadership of the Academy refused to replace the given mythological theme with a free one. In response, the students left the Academy and founded an independent Artel of Artists, also known as the Artel of Fourteen. From it subsequently was born the "Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions". Repin tried to follow their example and even filed a letter of resignation from the Academy to the conference secretary Pyotr Iseev. However, that petition tore into small parts and stated: “You must graduate from the Academy as it should. For whom, then, should it exist? ”.

Having remained in the Imperial Academy, Repin had to follow its rules. Thesis was necessary to write on a religious topic. Above the “Resurrection of Jairus’s Daughter,” the artist worked for a long time and painfully;1, 2). He even missed one year at the Academy - he had nothing to present as a graduation project.

Considerable help in the work on the picture Repin had Kramskoy, whom he considered his teacher. They discussed in detail the composition, plastic, location of the characters. The decision came when the artist brought in personal experiences. He recalled the grief of his parents when his little sister died, and imagined how they would feel if she could come to life the next moment. This mixture of despair, prayer, hope, love and pain is captured in the faces of the native girl, standing in the right corner of the picture.

In the center of the canvas stands Christ, lit by three candles in a candlestick, he squeezes the hand of the deceased girl. The next moment, she will get up and go. The picture is written according to the classic canons. The restraint of gestures, the nobility of color ratios unconditionally indicate the high skill of the young artist. He recalled that while he was writing “Resurrection of Jairus’s Daughter,” he asked his brother to play his flute, and it was the sounds of the flute that were in harmony with the composition and color of this picture.

It is curious that in 1871, the diploma picture with the same plot wrote another future classic.

Author: Alain Esaulova