Portrait of pianist M.K. Benoit (1887) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of pianist M.K. Benoit - Ilya Repin - 1887

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of pianist M.K. Benoit
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Portrait of pianist M.K. Benoit

The artwork “Portrait of Pianist M.K. Benoit” was painted by the renowned Russian artist Ilya Repin in 1887. Repin, associated with the Realism art movement, is known for his incisive portrayal of character and social atmosphere. The genre of this piece is that of a portrait, and it exemplifies the Realist approach to capturing the essence of the individual subject.

The artwork represents a pianist named M.K. Benoit, dressed in elegant attire appropriate for her musical vocation. The focal point of the portrait is her face, which radiates a composed and reflective demeanor, likely conjuring the intellectual and emotional depth associated with a musician of her caliber. Her attire includes a light-colored, sleeveless gown, adorned with delicate details and accessorized with black cuffs featuring golden embellishments, suggesting a subtle but distinct sense of style and a position of refined taste or social standing.

She is seated at a piano, her hands gently resting on the keys, which indicate her profession and her relationship with the instrument. The application of paint captures the movement and softness of the fabric of her dress while simultaneously treating the piano with heavier, more definite strokes, resulting in a tactile contrast that reinforces the tangible reality of the scene. The background is composed of darker tones with a suggestion of architectural elements and possibly a draped curtain, creating an intimate ambiance that draws the viewer’s attention to Benoit’s facial expression and posture. The artwork captures the essence of the sitter, showcasing Repin’s ability to infuse his portraits with psychological depth and narrative.

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