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Paris cafe

Painting, 1875, 120.6×191.8 cm

Description of the artwork «Paris cafe»

How could Repin to write some Paris café, when he after "Boatmen" had high hopes as a singer of the people's aspirations and denounced the oppressors?! Progressive Russian public was indignant. Kramskoy was indignant: "I thought of you sitting absolutely strengthened the conviction regarding the major provisions of art tools and specially folk string". Korney Chukovsky in his beautifully written memoirs about Repin issued, however, should be considered, in the Soviet Union, argued that "Repin all saw the boatmen". Not quite true remark, frankly. Seen Repin and French freebooters.

He became a pensioner of the Imperial Academy of arts, receiving his diploma film "The resurrection of Jairus's daughter" Big gold medal of the Academy and the right to a 6-year internship in Italy and France. Enthusiastically told Repin that French painting of the rejected academic and journalistic framework. "Reigns finally a real French, it carries all the light Shine, taste, ease, grace..." in this "real French" left and Repin.

The picture was controversial not only for Russian. The French public was also confused. Refer to the plot: a festive, frivolous atmosphere of the evening a bustling café, the glitter and charm of Paris discover the exciting atmosphere of social life. Think festive and relaxed buzz reaches our ears. Someone is reading, someone is talking, the waiter carries drinks. In the spotlight – the woman in the foreground, with umbrella in hand.

What's the catch? And that lady came in the cafe alone! Interestingly, one of the preliminary sketches she was shown standing clearly someone waiting. Of course, it's a different mood in the final version Repin refused it. The heroine of his paintings is not worth it, humbly leaning on a chair and waiting for long is its maintenance. Irresistible, in his arrogance, pride, a challenge in his eyes, in the pose, the beauty with sable eyebrows is the center of the picture, everything revolves around her. Which means its an awkward position? Why is she alone? The flappers? Cocotte in search of a client? With what indignation she looks magnificently dressed lady on the right! But the bearded man beside her, with great interest, looking in the same direction. And two front, generally hurriedly leave the place, humiliated to the depths of such depravity – female (!) one (!) was in the cafe! One of them turned away and, it seems, is yawning he is to see not the first time, the second, "as the dandy London is dressed", can't take my eyes off of shamelessness such things and backs up, almost backwards.

This brings to mind the phenomenon of people daring "Olympia" By Manet twelve years earlier? The same shameless look of eroticism, which is not in the curves of female beauty, and unspeakable boldness and freedom depicted. If Olympia were called the reclining Venus of today, that woman Repin other critics dubbed the urban Venus. Posed for her actress Anna Giduck.

Picture Repin exhibited at the Paris Salon in the spring of 1875. Probably under the influence of public opinion, in unison shouting "Scandal, scandal!" (though the Russians and French saw different reasons for his anger), Repin finished painting "corrected" by making it more modest. Daring look girls he extinguished, forcing her to lower his eyes, and she was a victim, not a violator instituted decency. But that's not the end of the story.

In 1916 in St. Petersburg, the painting was acquired by Swede named Martin Monson. She was taken out of Russia. In 1936, he conducted x-ray examination, which confirmed that Repin made superficial edits designed to make it "urban Venus" decent. Pre-ordering a copy of the face oil, Monson instructed the technicians to remove the surface layer. Restoration procedure was performed in Stockholm. The result was successful, and the girl from the "Paris cafe" Repin returned daring look. In 2011 the owner put the painting at a London auction Christie's. While the estimate in the 4-8 million dollar painting went into a private collection for 7 million 424 thousand dollars. At that time it was the highest price given for Repin sale.

Of course, looking at this most peculiar Repin a picture, we don't call it impressionist. The composition of the painting is carefully constructed, it was written is not spontaneous, there are many preparatory sketches. The story is a narrative, it tells a story, looking at this picture, we read the story. Like over text says, for example, Balzac. Of course, this is not impressionism. However, in addition to the influence of Manet Repin, it is worth noting that Repin, in fact, this work anticipated the direction that will become one of the favorite for the Impressionists: the life of the demimonde, bars, cafes, fleeting fun and meeting (1, 2, 3, 4).

Author: Alain Esaulova
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene

Style of art: Realism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1875

Size: 120.6×191.8 cm

Artwork in selections: 40 selections