Portrait of the Composer Nikolay Rymsky-Korsakov (1893) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of the Composer Nikolay Rymsky-Korsakov - Ilya Repin - 1893

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of the Composer Nikolay Rymsky-Korsakov
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Portrait of the Composer Nikolay Rymsky-Korsakov

The artwork “Portrait of the Composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov” is a creation by the artist Ilya Repin, dated from the year 1893. This piece was executed using oil on canvas and is representative of the Realism art movement. The genre of this work is a portrait, which captures the visage and character of the celebrated Russian composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov.

The artwork presents Rimsky-Korsakov in a seated posture, his form rendered with careful attention to the play of light and fabric, characteristic of Repin’s skillful portrayal of his subjects. The composer is depicted with a dignified mien, suggesting a contemplative or introspective mood. Rimsky-Korsakov’s apparel is formal, consisting of a dark suit with a crisp white shirt, accentuating his status and the norms of the era. His hair and beard are depicted with considerable detail, indicating both the texture and the natural graying that comes with age.

The furnishings and the ambient setting are subdued, with a richly patterned cushion and a suggestion of furniture contributing to an impression of comfort and refinement. The palette used for this portrait relies on a range of earth tones, creating a somber and respectful atmosphere that enhances the portrayal of the composer’s personality. Repin’s technique ensures that the focus remains steadfastly on the figure of Rimsky-Korsakov, while the background remains nondescript, ensuring that the viewer’s attention is not diverted. This painting exemplifies the Realist movement’s objectives to depict subjects with truth and accuracy, without the embellishments or idealizations found in earlier art styles.

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