Portrait of the Composer Modest Musorgsky (1881) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of the Composer Modest Musorgsky - Ilya Repin - 1881

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of the Composer Modest Musorgsky
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions69 x 57 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationTretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

About Portrait of the Composer Modest Musorgsky

The artwork “Portrait of the Composer Modest Musorgsky” is a painting by Ilya Repin, created in 1881. This oil on canvas portrait adheres to the Realist art movement and measures 69 by 57 centimeters. As a genre, it belongs to portraiture and is currently housed in the Tretyakov Gallery located in Moscow, Russia.

In this artwork, the composer Modest Musorgsky is depicted with a penetrating gaze that conveys a sense of profound intensity. Musorgsky’s eyes are slightly asymmetrical, adding a touch of character and uniqueness to his expression. His face shows a sense of wear, possibly a reflection of a life riddled with personal struggles, which Repin captures with emotional depth. The texture of the composer’s unkempt, curly hair and beard is rendered with expressive brushstrokes, highlighting Repin’s ability to infuse vitality into his subjects.

Repin dresses the composer in a dark green jacket lined with a vivid pink scarf, the latter providing a striking contrast that draws attention to the subject’s face. The artist’s use of color emphasizes the raw and authentic presentation of Musorgsky, and the loosely defined, quick brushstrokes in the attire contrast with the more detailed work on the face. The background is minimal, a muted wash of color, ensuring that the viewer’s focus remains on the composer’s visage.

The direct and intense portrayal in the artwork reflects Repin’s commitment to realism, capturing Musorgsky in a moment that seems both candid and intrinsic to his personality. It’s a powerful example of how portraiture can transcend mere likeness to encapsulate the essence of the individual.

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