Cossack’s head by Ilya Repin

Cossack's head - Ilya Repin -

Artwork Information

TitleCossack's head
ArtistIlya Repin
Mediumoil,cardboard
Dimensions23.5 x 14.5 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationAbramtsevo Colony, Sergiyev Posad, Russia

About Cossack's head

The artwork titled “Cossack’s head” is an oil on cardboard portrait crafted by the esteemed artist Ilya Repin. This piece, measuring 23.5 by 14.5 centimeters, embodies the Realism art movement and is currently located at the Abramtsevo Colony in Sergiyev Posad, Russia. The artwork represents the genre of portraiture.

Ilya Repin’s “Cossack’s head” is a striking example of realism, capturing the essence of its subject with palpable authenticity. The subject is a Cossack man depicted in profile, providing the viewer with a clear view of his facial features and expression. His gaze is directed away from the viewer, leading one to wonder about his focus of attention. The Cossack is adorned with a traditional fur hat, which alongside his robust beard, imparts a sense of ruggedness and cultural identity.

The artist utilizes a restrained palette, dominated by earthy and dark tones, which reinforces the sober and realistic representation of the subject. Repin’s brushwork is both precise and dynamic, conveying texture and form through visible strokes. The light appears to be coming from the left side, softly illuminating one side of the Cossack’s face while casting the other side in shadow, resulting in a three-dimensional effect.

The background remains unembellished, ensuring that the viewer’s attention remains on the subject. Noteworthy is the inscription at the lower end of the artwork, which includes the artist’s signature and likely a dedication or a note, adding a personal touch to the canvas. The unassuming dimensions of the portrait suggest that this piece might have been intended for a more intimate setting, where its subtle details could be appreciated up close. Overall, “Cossack’s head” is a fine testament to Repin’s skill in portraiture, capturing the character and presence of a figure with historical and cultural significance.

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