Portrait of the Artist Vasily Surikov (1885) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of the Artist Vasily Surikov - Ilya Repin - 1885

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of the Artist Vasily Surikov
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationTretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

About Portrait of the Artist Vasily Surikov

The artwork “Portrait of the Artist Vasily Surikov” is a notable piece from 1885 by the renowned artist Ilya Repin. Executed in oil on canvas, this work is a vivid representation of the Realist art movement, a genre centered on depicting subjects as they appear in everyday life without embellishment or interpretation. The portrait genre allows for an intimate portrayal of the subject, in this case, Vasily Surikov, who is also an artist. Currently, the artwork holds a prestigious place in the Tretyakov Gallery located in Moscow, Russia.

In the artwork, the subject, Vasily Surikov, is shown in a three-quarter view against a muted, non-descript background that allows the viewer to focus on his figure and facial features. Surikov is portrayed with dark, wavy hair and a full beard, which frames his contemplative expression. His dark eyes look off to the side as if captured in a moment of thought or observation, a common characteristic in realistic portraits that seeks to convey the personality and inner life of the subject.

Repin’s skillful use of lighting and shadow adds a sense of depth to Surikov’s visage and attire, highlighting the texture of his black jacket and white shirt. The painting employs a restrained color palette, which emphasizes the solemnity and introspectiveness of the subject’s demeanor. This kind of portrayal is typical of Repin’s work, as he was adept at capturing the essence of his sitters through expressive brushwork and careful attention to detail.

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