Portrait of J.M. Vengerov (1915) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of J.M. Vengerov - Ilya Repin - 1915

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of J.M. Vengerov
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Portrait of J.M. Vengerov

The artwork “Portrait of J.M. Vengerov,” created by the Russian artist Ilya Repin in 1915, is a fine example of the Realism art movement. It is a genre piece that elegantly captures the appearance and essence of Vengerov through portraiture, a form that illuminates the subject’s personality and societal position.

The portrait depicts an individual presumed to be J.M. Vengerov seated against a rich backdrop of warm red tones. The subject is positioned with his body turned slightly towards the viewer, his right elbow resting on a stone balustrade, and his cheek supported by his curled fingers, conveying a contemplative or introspective demeanor. This relaxed pose, combined with the direct gaze of the sitter, adds to the sense of a candid moment adeptly captured on canvas.

Vengerov is attired in a formal dark garment, which suggests a sense of seriousness and respectability. Notably, the brushstrokes on the apparel are executed with a realism that pays careful attention to the textures of the fabric, adding depth to the portrayal. The precision in the clothing contrasts with the background where looser, more expressive brushwork imbues the artwork with a sense of artistic vivacity.

The intricate detail of a decorative textile draped over the balustrade adds a splash of ornate patterns and vibrant colors, which invite the eye to explore the interplay between the subject and his environment. This attention to detail, while still maintaining a cohesive narrative within the painting, is emblematic of Repin’s mastery in producing realistic portrayals that reveal much about the individuals he paints.

The year “1915” and the signature “Repin” are conspicuously placed on the draped textile, integrating the date and authorship within the body of the work. Overall, the artwork is a thoughtful and nuanced study, rich in character and executed with the skillful hand associated with Repin’s esteemed place in art history.

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