A Fisher Girl (1874) by Ilya Repin

A Fisher Girl - Ilya Repin - 1874

Artwork Information

TitleA Fisher Girl
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions74 x 50 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationIrkutsk Regional Museum of Fine Arts (Sukachev Museum), Irkutsk, Russia

About A Fisher Girl

The artwork titled “A Fisher Girl” was painted by Ilya Repin in 1874. It is an oil painting on canvas, measuring 74 by 50 centimeters, and exemplifies the Realism art movement. This portrait is part of the collection at the Irkutsk Regional Museum of Fine Arts, also known as the Sukachev Museum, located in Irkutsk, Russia.

The artwork depicts a young girl, possibly a fisher girl given the title, standing against a natural backdrop. Her gaze is directed downward and away from the viewer, lending her a contemplative or perhaps melancholic expression. The girl’s hair is loosely tousled, suggesting the impact of the wind or physical activity. Her clothing is simple and worn, hinting at a life of labor and modest means—a typical theme of the Realist movement, which sought to portray life as it was, without romanticizing it.

Her dress is functional rather than ornamental, with visible mending and patches that tell of its utilitarian purpose. The use of light and shadow on her skin and clothing demonstrates Repin’s mastery of capturing texture and the effects of natural light. The muted tones of her attire contrast with the more vivid colors found in the surrounding environment, including hints of red and green, which may represent the wildflowers and grasses of her setting.

Repin’s work focuses on the raw humanity of the subject, with an attention to detail that allows observers to infer the girl’s story through her appearance and surroundings. The emotionally resonant facial expression, combined with the direct realism of the piece, makes it a powerful example of its genre.

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