Portrait of Mara Konstantinovna Oliv (1906) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of Mara Konstantinovna Oliv - Ilya Repin - 1906

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Mara Konstantinovna Oliv
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions90 x 72 cm
Art MovementRealism

About Portrait of Mara Konstantinovna Oliv

The artwork under consideration is a portrait entitled “Portrait of Mara Konstantinovna Oliv” created by the Russian artist Ilya Repin in 1906. Repin, a celebrated figure of the Realism movement, employed oil on canvas as his medium for this piece, which measures 90 by 72 centimeters. As a portrait, this work exemplifies Repin’s proficiency in capturing the essence of his subject with fidelity and depth.

The artwork represents a seated woman, elegantly poised with a serene and direct gaze. The subject, Mara Konstantinovna Oliv, appears to be comfortably settled into an upholstered armchair, her body slightly turned towards the viewer, engaging with a gentle yet confident eye contact. Notable is her attire, which features rich textures and vivid colors, particularly the floral pattern on her dress that provides a bold contrast to her creamy blouse. The dress itself is enlivened with splashes of red and hints of green, which stand out against the more subdued tones of the background.

Repin’s ability to capture the nuanced interplay of light and shadow is evident on the folds of the subject’s clothing, lending the figure a three-dimensional quality that seems to breathe life into the canvas. The woman’s face is painted with a soft luminosity that captures the subtlety of her expression, conveying both the dignity and the intimate personality of the sitter. Her head is adorned with an ornate headdress, which alongside her jewelry, suggests a status of refinement and wealth.

In the backdrop, a depth is suggested by cooler, darker tones, which serve to frame the subject and draw attention to her presence, without the background elements competing for attention. The brushwork throughout the canvas harnesses both precision and freedom, a hallmark of Repin’s style which combines the meticulous detail of Realism with the expressive potential of paint.

Overall, “Portrait of Mara Konstantinovna Oliv” exemplifies Ilya Repin’s masterful capacity to infuse his realistic representations with a sense of psychological insight and vibrant immediacy.

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