Portrait of Aleksandr Zhirkevich (1891) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of Aleksandr Zhirkevich - Ilya Repin - 1891

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Aleksandr Zhirkevich
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions41 x 30 cm
Art MovementRealism

About Portrait of Aleksandr Zhirkevich

The artwork in question is a pencil portrait of Aleksandr Zhirkevich, masterfully created by renowned artist Ilya Repin in the year 1891. Executed with meticulous attention to detail, the artwork embodies the principles of the Realism art movement and measures 41 x 30 cm. As a genre, the piece classifies as a portrait, capturing the visage of the subject in a truthful and straightforward manner, characteristic of Repin’s acclaimed technical skill.

In this artwork, Repin presents a closely cropped portrait, focusing largely on the sitter’s face and upper torso. The subject, Aleksandr Zhirkevich, is depicted as a contemplatively posed figure, with his hand gently resting against his mouth and chin, suggesting a moment of introspection or deep thought. The facial features of Zhirkevich are rendered with fine, delicate pencil strokes, indicating Repin’s ability to convey a strong sense of the subject’s character and mood through subtle nuances of light and shadow. The precision of the drawing highlights the intensity of the subject’s gaze, which directly engages the viewer.

The artist’s proficiency is further evident through the treatment of the subject’s attire, where the fabric of the clothing is suggested with a series of quick, yet assured pencil lines, imparting a sense of texture and movement. These lines contrast with the more blended and softer approach used for the flesh, thereby creating a dynamic interplay between the different elements of the composition.

The background, while secondary to the central figure, is delineated with expressive, gestural marks that complement the realism of the sitter’s form. These abstracted elements serve as a backdrop that accentuates the subject’s presence. Notably, the artist’s signature and the date of creation are visibly inscribed near the bottom of the artwork, lending authenticity and provenance to this fine example of 19th-century portraiture.

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