Portrait of the Poet Voinov (1923 – 1926) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of the Poet Voinov - Ilya Repin - 1923 - 1926

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of the Poet Voinov
ArtistIlya Repin
Date1923 - 1926
Dimensions74.5 x 52 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationMuseum of Russian Art (Tereshchenko Museum), Kyiv, Ukraine

About Portrait of the Poet Voinov

The artwork “Portrait of the Poet Voinov” is a creation of Ilya Repin, crafted between the years of 1923 and 1926. This oil on wood painting adheres to the Realist movement and possesses the dimensions of 74.5 by 52 centimeters. It represents the genre of portrait and is housed in the Museum of Russian Art (Tereshchenko Museum), located in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Focusing on the artwork itself, it depicts a man, presumably the poet Voinov, as suggested by the title. The subject is portrayed against a dark, enigmatic background that serves to accentuate his visage and upper body. He is dressed formally, wearing a dark suit with a white shirt, highlighted by a distinct white collar and cuffs, which contrasts sharply against the black jacket. A suggestion of elegance and intellect is imparted by his attire and the poised placement of his hand holding a pen, likely capturing his identity as a poet.

The subject’s expression is contemplative and somewhat intent, directing his gaze slightly upwards and off to the side, as though lost in thought or engaging in a silent discourse with an unseen interlocutor. The facial features are rendered with particular attention, showcasing Repin’s mastery in capturing personality and emotional depth through subtle nuances of light and shadow.

The use of lighting is particularly striking in this portrait. The light source seemingly comes from the upper left, illuminating the subject’s face, the gleam in his eyes, and highlights on the skin and clothing, adding a sense of volume and three-dimensionality to the portrait. His forehead, cheek, and nose are warmly lit, while the other parts of his face gradually recede into the gentle shadows, contributing to a realistic representation.

The brushwork in the artwork varies, displaying a dynamic mix of precise details in the face and hands and more broadly applied strokes in the clothing and background. This stylistic approach is indicative of Repin’s ability to combine realism with artistic freedom, resulting in a portrait that is both lifelike and expressive.

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