Portrait of a kalmyk (1871) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of a kalmyk - Ilya Repin - 1871

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of a kalmyk
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions20 x 14 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationTretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

About Portrait of a kalmyk

The artwork entitled “Portrait of a Kalmyk” is a creation of Ilya Repin, a distinguished artist, executed in pencil in the year 1871. As a work of art, it adheres to the Realism movement, specializing in portraiture. The dimensions of the piece are modest, measuring only 20 by 14 centimeters. This portrait is housed within the Tretyakov Gallery located in Moscow, Russia.

In this pencil portrait, Repin captures the visage of a Kalmyk individual with striking realism and a keen eye for detail. The subject’s expression is contemplative and solemn, with his gaze slightly averted from the viewer, adding a sense of introspection to the artwork. The pencil strokes are masterfully varied, providing texture and depth to the subject’s weathered features and traditional attire. The cap on the subject’s head is depicted with enough detail to denote its form and the folds in the fabric, while the play of light and shadow adds volume and emphasis to the facial structure.

Details such as the subject’s defined jawline, the stubble on his face, and the layers of his clothing are captured by Repin’s deft use of shading and line work, bearing witness to his talent in rendering human expressions and attire with accuracy and empathy. Notably, the attention to the sitter’s eyes and the furrowed brow evoke an emotional response that goes beyond mere representation, suggesting a narrative about the person’s life and experiences.

The portrait is furthermore characterized by an immediacy and directness typical of Repin’s draftsmanship, revealing his ability to distill the essence of a character onto paper—a trait acknowledging his important position within the canon of realism in Russian art.

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