Leo Tolstoy barefoot (1891) by Ilya Repin

Leo Tolstoy barefoot - Ilya Repin - 1891

Artwork Information

TitleLeo Tolstoy barefoot
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Leo Tolstoy barefoot

The artwork entitled “Leo Tolstoy barefoot” is a portrait painted by Ilya Repin in 1891, belonging to the Realism art movement. This is a masterful rendering that captures the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy in a contemplative pose, reflective of his personal beliefs and lifestyle at the time.

The artwork depicts Tolstoy as a commanding, yet serene figure, standing barefoot amidst a natural setting that suggests a garden or forest. The author is portrayed with his hands crossed in front of him, dressed in simple peasant clothing—a white, loosely fitted shirt and dark trousers, which signifies his empathy and connection to the common people. Tolstoy’s facial expression is earnest and contemplative, possibly suggesting a moment of introspection or a connection with nature. His beard is full and unkempt, which adds to his philosopher-like image.

Repin’s use of light and shadow in the artwork creates a dramatic effect, highlighting Tolstoy’s figure against the dappled light of the verdant background. The texture of the brushstrokes gives a lifelike quality to Tolstoy’s attire and features, while imbuing the scene with a sense of vibrancy. In the foreground, a discarded pair of shoes serves as a symbolic element, reinforcing the notion of Tolstoy’s rejection of material excess and his advocacy for simpler living.

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