Portrait of Artist Vladimir Samoilov (1902) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of Artist Vladimir Samoilov - Ilya Repin - 1902

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Artist Vladimir Samoilov
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Portrait of Artist Vladimir Samoilov

The artwork titled “Portrait of Artist Vladimir Samoilov” was painted by Ilya Repin in 1902. As part of the Realism art movement, this portrait is a quintessential representation that strives to depict its subject with truthfulness and accuracy, eschewing the stylistic tendencies and embellishments associated with other art movements.

The portrait showcases a seated male figure, presumably the artist Vladimir Samoilov, captured in a three-quarter view. The sitter’s visage is marked by a serene and contemplative expression, with his eyes gazing slightly away from the viewer. The play of light and shadow on the subject’s face highlights the meticulous detail with which Repin has rendered the facial features, particularly emphasizing the textures of the sitter’s skin and the wispy nature of the white beard.

Samoilov’s attire is somber, consisting of a dark, velvety jacket that blends into the similarly dark background, creating a stark contrast against the white ruff of his shirt and the luminous flesh tones of his hand, which is resting elegantly on a ledge or table foregrounding the composition. The dark palette and the focused illumination on the figure underscore the contemplative mood of the artwork, while the visible brushstrokes and the vivid portrayal of the sitter’s character directly align with the Realist mandate to depict subjects in an authentic and unidealized manner.

Attention to textures and details is apparent, as Repin has taken care to highlight the soft fabric of the shirt sleeve in stark contrast to the more austere material of the jacket. This attention to sartorial details adds depth and realism to the work. In the bottom left corner, the artist’s signature is visible, adding a personal touch to the canvas and asserting its authenticity. This portrait not only reaffirms Repin’s status as a luminary of the Realism movement but also serves as a testament to his mastery of the genre through its evocative depiction of his contemporary, Vladimir Samoilov.

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