Portrait of E.D. Batasheva (1891) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of E.D. Batasheva - Ilya Repin - 1891

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of E.D. Batasheva
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Portrait of E.D. Batasheva

The artwork “Portrait of E.D. Batasheva” is a creation by the renowned artist Ilya Repin, completed in the year 1891. As a representative piece of the Realism movement, this portrait features a genre focused on the honest, accurate depiction of life as it was. The formal approach employed by Repin is clear, as Realism sought to move away from the idealized or heroic styles prevalent in earlier artistic traditions.

Upon examining the artwork, one is immediately drawn to the portrait’s subject, executed with a stark economy of lines that simultaneously captures the essence of the sitter and conveys a sense of depth and texture. The subject is depicted in profile, her gaze directed downwards in a reflective pose. Repin’s mastery of light and shadow is evident in the delineation of the subject’s features, the soft rendering of her hair, adorned with a delicate lace headpiece, and the complex folds of her attire, which suggest fine fabric and a genteel stature.

The background of the artwork is minimalistic, primarily serving to accentuate the figure. Repin’s confident brushstrokes, varying in intensity and thickness, demonstrate his skill in conveying the texture of the materials and the atmospheric weight around the figure. It is a study in contrasts: the soft human forms against the harder, less defined shadows and the detailed depiction of the subject against the sketch-like quality of the backdrop.

Repin’s signature is modestly included at the bottom right, adding an authenticating mark to this evocative work that speaks volumes on the depth of human character and the art of portraiture within the Realism movement.

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