Portrait of the Artist Vasily Polenov (1877) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of the Artist Vasily Polenov - Ilya Repin - 1877

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of the Artist Vasily Polenov
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions80 x 65 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationTretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

About Portrait of the Artist Vasily Polenov

The artwork titled “Portrait of the Artist Vasily Polenov” is an oil on canvas painting created by Ilya Repin in 1877. This portrait exemplifies the Realism art movement and measures 80 by 65 centimeters. The genre of this work is portraiture, and it is currently housed in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia.

The artwork captures the visage of the artist Vasily Polenov with a sense of immediacy and psychological depth characteristic of Repin’s portraiture style. Repin, a prominent Russian realist artist, painted his contemporary with a focus on naturalism and individual personality. The oval format of the canvas frames Polenov’s head and upper body, directing attention to his contemplative expression and the rich textures of his skin, beard, and clothing. His gaze is directed slightly off to the side, which, along with the subdued earth tones of the palette, may suggest a moment of introspection. Repin’s deft brushwork is evident in the rendering of Polenov’s facial features, especially the eyes and the beard, where both precision and fluidity are balanced. The background is deliberately vague, encapsulating the figure in a nondescript atmosphere that places all emphasis on the psychological presence of the subject. Despite the painting’s realistic representation, there is an emotional undertone to the portrait that invites viewers to ponder the inner life of the artist depicted.

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