Portrait of Composer Cesar Antonovich Cui (1890) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of Composer Cesar Antonovich Cui - Ilya Repin - 1890

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Composer Cesar Antonovich Cui
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions125 x 98 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationTretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

About Portrait of Composer Cesar Antonovich Cui

The artwork “Portrait of Composer Cesar Antonovich Cui” was created by artist Ilya Repin in 1890. This piece was executed using the medium of oil on canvas and is representative of the Realism art movement. The dimensions of the painting are quite substantial, measuring 125 by 98 centimeters. As a genre, it falls under portraiture and currently resides in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia.

Examining the artwork more closely, one observes Cesar Antonovich Cui sitting in a relaxed yet imposing posture in a wooden rattan chair. He is adorned in what appears to be a military uniform, characterized by a distinctive red sash and a grey jacket with red piping and adorned with buttons, which is draped over his shoulders revealing a white shirt underneath. His facial expression is contemplative and somewhat severe, with deep-set eyes looking out towards the viewer, behind which one can glean a sense of intellect and perhaps a contemplative melancholy. The sitter’s beard and hair are of a reddish-brown hue, and both his hair and full beard are neatly groomed, suggesting a man of order and discipline.

In the background of the portrait, various objects can be discerned, which add depth to the composition. There appears to be a mantelpiece upon which several small figurines or sculptures are displayed, providing a hint about the sitter’s personal tastes or the setting in which he was painted. The brushwork is distinct and expressive, harmoniously blending detail in the figure with looser strokes in the less focal areas of the background. The color palette is muted yet warm, with the bright reds of the sash and uniform details drawing attention towards the subject. Through this adept portrayal, Repin succeeds in not only capturing the physical likeness of Cesar Cui but also offers insight into his character.

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