The ceremonial meeting of the State Council on 7 may 1901, in day of a centenary from the day of its establishment

Ilya Efimovich Repin • Painting, 1903, 400×877 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Historical scene
Style of art: Realism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1903
Size: 400×877 cm
Artwork in selections: 45 selections
Exhibitions history

Description of the artwork «The ceremonial meeting of the State Council on 7 may 1901, in day of a centenary from the day of its establishment»

The ceremonial meeting of the State Council on 7 may 1901, it was dedicated to the centennial of the authority, and Repin attended since received the official order for the painting from the Emperor himself. He had a chance to attend other similar meetings and to achieve resolution to the Council members posed for him in their spare time.

More than sixty images of real people, including the incumbent Emperor had to capture the artist and the period that he was assigned an extremely brief for such work. To do this one was not under force, therefore to work on the "State Council" Repin drew two of his disciples, Boris Kustodievand Ivan Kulikov.

On the canvas depicts the moment when Emperor Nicholas II, seated under a private front portrait already read the letter, and secretaries are awarded to members of the Board jubilee medal. The picture has a very clear rhythm set by the combination of vertical shapes – columns, candles in the chandeliers, figures of members of the Board, portraits and spherical composition, emphasizing the hierarchy of state power. Dark clothes present, strict ribbon, Burgundy velvet upholstery, white columns and white papers reinforce a rhythmic pattern and give it a special order. It seems, heard steady buzz of discussion and a clear tread secretaries.

Many members of the Tips shown from the back. However, for Repin that's not a problem – he knew how to write back a very "talking", remember turned to the audience back, the old mother in the picture "Unexpected". We can't see her face, but what a range of feelings this conveys the twisted figure!

Detractors predicted Repin guaranteed failure in the breech the subject, and the official court paintings come show some talent in full force. However, Repin succeeded. Alone in a newly acquired estate "Penates" in Kuokkala and his assistants, the artist has managed the state order to make a masterpiece. In early 1904 the painting was exhibited in the Winter Palace. The Emperor himself, and the members of the Council took it graciously. But the comrades Repin among the Wanderers are not particularly happy that actively cooperate with them, the artist abandoned the populist ideas, and began to chant the monarchical tradition. However, next spring, for the 32nd exhibition of the Peredvizhniki, Repin submitted a lot of sketchesmade with members of the State Council.

Author: Alain Esaulova