Portrait of the Cello Player Alexander Verzhbilovich (1895) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of the Cello Player Alexander Verzhbilovich - Ilya Repin - 1895

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of the Cello Player Alexander Verzhbilovich
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Portrait of the Cello Player Alexander Verzhbilovich

The artwork “Portrait of the Cello Player Alexander Verzhbilovich” is an oil on canvas painting produced by the illustrious artist Ilya Repin in 1895. It is recognized as a significant work from the Realism art movement, and as a portrait, it delves into the persona and character of its subject, Alexander Verzhbilovich, who was a renowned cellist in his time.

As we examine the artwork, a sense of distinguished elegance exudes from the subject, Alexander Verzhbilovich. Standing in an assured and comfortable posture with his arms crossed, the cellist presents a commanding and somewhat informal presence. His attire is formal: he wears a dark suit and his white shirt is accented with a light-colored tie. His fingers, adorned by pristine white gloves, interlock casually, underscoring his relaxed confidence.

The facial expression of the subject conveys thoughtful intensity and perhaps a touch of weariness; his eyes are penetrative, casting a gaze that is direct yet introspective. The application of the paint reveals Repin’s masterful skill, capturing not only the likeness of the cellist but also the nuances of his personality and social demeanor. The brushwork exhibits a dynamism that gives texture to the hair and depth to the creases and contours of the face, contributing to a lifelike depiction.

The background remains understated, a neutral palette that accentuates the subject without competition, putting forth the character of the man and his station in life as central to the viewer’s gaze. Repin’s talent in painting is evident in the realistic portrayal of form and shadow, balancing the precision of detail with the vitality of spontaneous strokes, hallmarks of the Realism movement. Overall, the portrait is a compelling testament to the artistry of Repin and the gravitas of the musician Verzhbilovich.

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