A Shy Peasant (1877) by Ilya Repin

A Shy Peasant - Ilya Repin - 1877

Artwork Information

TitleA Shy Peasant
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions65 x 54 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationNizhny Novgorod State Museum of Fine Arts , Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

About A Shy Peasant

The artwork entitled “A Shy Peasant,” created by Ilya Repin in 1877, is an exemplar of the Realism art movement. Executed using oil on canvas, this portrait piece measures 65 by 54 centimeters and is held in the collection of the Nizhny Novgorod State Museum of Fine Arts in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

The artwork is a diligent study of character and mood that captures the essence of a peasant’s life during the time. The peasant’s expression, which can be interpreted as reserved or introspective, is central to the painting’s emotional impact. The subject’s gaze appears to be directed slightly upward and to the side, as if lost in thought or perhaps cautiously engaging with someone outside of the canvas’ boundaries. His rugged, unkempt beard and hair, along with the weathered lines etched into his face, suggest a life of labor and exposure to the elements.

Repin’s brushwork skillfully conveys the texture of the peasant’s worn clothing and the rough quality of his features, showcasing the realism that defines the genre. The color palette is subdued, dominated by earthy tones that further emphasize the austere existence of the subject. Repin’s ability to invoke empathy and appreciation for the common person through such a realistic portrayal is characteristic of his broader body of work and his commitment to capturing the genuine experiences of individuals in 19th-century Russia.

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