Portrait of Ivan Ivanovich Shamshin (1902) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of Ivan Ivanovich Shamshin - Ilya Repin - 1902

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Ivan Ivanovich Shamshin
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Portrait of Ivan Ivanovich Shamshin

The artwork titled “Portrait of Ivan Ivanovich Shamshin” was painted by the artist Ilya Repin in the year 1902. Repin, a prominent figure in the art movement known as Realism, depicted the sitter in the genre of portrait painting. This piece is representative of Repin’s adept skill in capturing the essence and character of his subjects through the Realist lens.

In the artwork, we observe a mature man, featured in three-quarter profile, looking off to the side beyond the frame’s edge. The individual appears dignified, with a composed and reflective demeanor. Repin employs bold, confident brushstrokes which give the portrait a dynamic and textured appearance, reflecting the artist’s mastery of the Realist style. The subject is dressed formally, sporting a dark jacket, a bow tie, and a white shirt, which stands in contrast with the rich, dark background. His face and white mustache and beard suggest wisdom and a life rich with experience.

The warm tones used to illuminate the man’s face suggest the presence of a subtle light source coming from the direction he faces. Light and shadows interact on the subject’s features, enhancing the depth and contemplation in his expression. The brushwork, particularly in the background, is loose and impressionistic, allowing the figure’s more finely rendered features to draw the viewer’s attention. Notably, Repin’s use of color and light imbues the portrait with a sense of vitality and realism, capturing a moment in time while simultaneously conveying the timeless nature of the subject’s character.

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