Portrait of Ivan Stepanovich Panov (1867) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of Ivan Stepanovich Panov - Ilya Repin - 1867

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Ivan Stepanovich Panov
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions58 x 49 cm
Art MovementRealism

About Portrait of Ivan Stepanovich Panov

The artwork “Portrait of Ivan Stepanovich Panov” was created by the renowned Russian artist Ilya Repin in 1867. Executed in oil on canvas, the painting is an embodiment of the Realism art movement, which Repin was prominently associated with throughout his career. Measuring 58 by 49 cm, the portrait genre of this piece provides a nuanced representation of the subject, Ivan Stepanovich Panov.

The artwork showcases a figure set against a dark, featureless backdrop that serves to direct the viewer’s full attention to the subject. The painting is contained within a circular frame known as a tondo, a stylistic choice that focuses the gaze on Panov’s likeness. The subject, a man with a thoughtful and introspective expression, is depicted wearing a vibrant red shirt with a loose neckline that reveals a white undershirt, enhancing the contrast against the shadowed background. His slightly unkempt hair and full beard add a naturalistic and unvarnished quality to the work, aligning with the Realist insistence on depicting subjects truthfully, without idealization.

The man’s gaze is directed downwards to a book that he holds open in his hands, suggesting an intellectual or reflective character. The intensity of his focus conveys a sense of silent contemplation or absorption in the content he is reading. Repin’s careful handling of light and shadow on the subject’s face and the meticulous rendering of texture in the beard and hair exhibit the mastery of portraiture that the artist is acclaimed for. Through the painterly techniques employed in the artwork, Repin captures not just the physical likeness of Ivan Stepanovich Panov but also a fleeting moment of his inner life, offering viewers a glimpse into the personality and mood of the sitter.

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