Madonna with Child (1896) by Ilya Repin

Madonna with Child - Ilya Repin - 1896

Artwork Information

TitleMadonna with Child
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions101 x 62.5 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationVitebsk Museum of Fine Arts, Vitebsk, Belarus

About Madonna with Child

The artwork titled “Madonna with Child” is a religious painting by the artist Ilya Repin, created in the year 1896. This piece is rendered in oil on zinc and is a notable representation of the Realism art movement. It measures 101 by 62.5 centimeters and is currently housed in the Vitebsk Museum of Fine Arts in Vitebsk, Belarus.

The artwork presents the traditional Christian subject matter of the Madonna and Child with an emphasis on naturalism and emotional depth, hallmarks of Repin’s realistic approach to painting. The Virgin Mary is portrayed with somber features and a piercing gaze, cloaked in a dark blue mantle with a vivid crimson cuff peeking out – a detail that draws the viewer’s eye. She holds a young, almost ethereal Christ child who stands beside her, naked to emphasize his human vulnerability, and raises his arm in a gesture that could be interpreted as a blessing or an appeal. The Madonna’s protective, yet restrained hold on the child suggests a poignant awareness of the future trials they both are bound to face. The use of light and shadow, along with the mastery of color contrasts, imbues the work with a sense of spirituality and emotional resonance that connects Re-pin’s realist execution with the deeper themes of the sacred narrative.

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