African Motiff by Ilya Repin

African Motiff - Ilya Repin -

Artwork Information

TitleAfrican Motiff
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions17 x 22 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationVitebsk Museum of Fine Arts, Vitebsk, Belarus

About African Motiff

The artwork titled “African Motiff” by the artist Ilya Repin is a genre painting executed using pen, watercolor, and paper, embodying the Realism art movement. It measures a modest 17 x 22 cm and presently resides in the Vitebsk Museum of Fine Arts, located in Vitebsk, Belarus. This piece is reflective of Repin’s illustrative ability to convey genre scenes with an air of authenticity and attention to detail.

Within the artwork, one observes a vividly portrayed scene with a figure of an African man standing to the left of the composition. The man is depicted in a side profile while playing a flute, his lean body elegantly poised against the background, delivering a sense of rhythm and music that seems to transcend the visual medium. His dark-toned skin contrasts starkly with the lighter background, drawing the viewer’s attention directly to him. To his right, a camel is seated, its form loosely sketched with a sense of placidity that complements the musical theme. A palm tree anchors the composition in the center, with its leaves delicately rendered to add a touch of exotic flora that enhances the African motif.

The relatively unadorned background is suggestive of an expansive, open landscape, with only faint lines to hint at the horizon, and the pen and watercolor mediums allow for a combination of precise detail and fluidity. Overall, the artwork encapsulates a moment that is seemingly simple in action yet rich in cultural resonance, highlighting Repin’s ability to capture the essence of daily life and cultural specificity within his Realist approach.

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