N. Wentzell (1879) by Ilya Repin

N. Wentzell - Ilya Repin - 1879

Artwork Information

TitleN. Wentzell
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About N. Wentzell

The artwork titled “N. Wentzell” is a creation by the artist Ilya Repin, dated to the year 1879. It is part of the Realism art movement, and is categorized as a sketch and study. This work captures a sense of immediacy and observation, characteristics valued in the realist ideology that seeks to portray subjects truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions or implausible, exotic, and supernatural elements.

The artwork presents two studies of a man on a single sheet: one fully rendered in detail and the other only partially completed. The figure on the right is depicted with strong, confident strokes, suggesting a dark, heavy jacket and a light, cravated shirt. His expression is serious, and the details in his face convey a lifelike quality, from the furrowed brow to the focused gaze that extends directly out of the frame. By contrast, the figure on the left is drawn with a lighter touch, with only the outlines and minimal shading to suggest form and volume. The differentiation between the full depiction and the outline sketches mirrors the artistic process, offering a glimpse into the evolution from a draft to a more definitive portrayal.

The juxtaposition of the two renderings enables viewers to appreciate the artist’s skill in varying levels of completion, from the precise delineation of features to the looser, more suggestive contours. Furthermore, the signature of the artist and the date are inscribed on the artwork, providing a historic and personal touch to the study, emphasizing the relationship between the artist and his work during the creative process.

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