Portrait of Nadezhda Stasova (1884) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of Nadezhda Stasova - Ilya Repin - 1884

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Nadezhda Stasova
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Portrait of Nadezhda Stasova

The artwork titled “Portrait of Nadezhda Stasova” was created by the Russian artist Ilya Repin in the year 1884. The medium used for this piece is oil on canvas. Repin, a prominent figure in Russian fine arts, is often associated with the Realism art movement, which emphasized the depiction of everyday life without embellishment or romantic idealization. The genre of this particular artwork is a portrait, a testament to Repin’s skill in capturing the essence of the sitter’s character.

The artwork presents Nadezhda Stasova, who sits with a dignified, yet gentle, expression that conveys a sense of resilience and intelligence. Her dark attire suggests a formality or mourning, with a simple black dress and an understated, yet textured, white collar that offers a contrast to the dark fabric. The inclusion of fine jewelry, such as the brooch and rings, adds a touch of personality and status amidst the otherwise somber color palette. The position of her hands, clasped together in her lap, suggests a sense of composure and reflection.

Her face is rendered with care, displaying lines and features with an unflinching honesty characteristic of the Realist approach. The softness around her eyes and mouth lend a warm, approachable quality to her representation. The backdrop against which Stasova is set is muted, allowing the viewer to focus on her likeness without distraction. The use of shading and diffused light exemplifies Repin’s mastery in creating an atmosphere that serves to highlight the sitter’s inner strength and reflective nature. A blue drapery is hinted at on the left, a subtle inclusion that breaks the monochromatic scheme and adds a compositional balance to the painting. Overall, Repin’s work not only captures the physical appearance of Nadezhda Stasova but also provides a window into her persona, making it a compelling exemplar of portrait art within the Realism movement.

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