Old farmer (1885) by Ilya Repin

Old farmer - Ilya Repin - 1885

Artwork Information

TitleOld farmer
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Old farmer

Created by Ilya Repin in 1885, the artwork entitled “Old farmer” is a definitive piece encapsulating the essence of the Realism art movement. As a portrait, it conveys a frank representation of its subject, characteristic of the genre and period. “Old farmer” serves as an enduring example of Repin’s skill in capturing the dignity and humanity of everyday individuals through his painting.

The artwork depicts an elderly man standing in a contemplative pose against a leafy background. The farmer is dressed in a long, weatherworn coat, which seems heavy on his frame, suggesting a life of physical labor and endurance. His hands are clasped in front of him, perhaps indicating a moment of rest or reflection. The portrait captures the man’s haggard face marked by time, with a thick beard and furrowed brow. There is a palpable stoicism in his demeanor that speaks of a deep familiarity with the cycles of nature and the toil of rural life.

Repin’s use of light and shadow in the artwork adds to the realistic portrayal, highlighting the rough texture of the farmer’s clothing and the wrinkles on his face. The background is rendered with a softer touch, the greenery and light creating an almost luminescent frame around the central figure, further bringing the focus to the intricate details of his presence and attire. The painting as a whole communicates a narrative of pastoral lifeā€”its rigors, its simplicity, and the profound, often unspoken, experience of those who are deeply connected to the land.

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