Portrait of the writer Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy (1896) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of the writer Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy - Ilya Repin - 1896

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of the writer Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions84 x 70 cm
Art MovementRealism

About Portrait of the writer Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy

The artwork is a portrayal of Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy, rendered by the eminent artist Ilya Repin in 1896. This oil on canvas piece measures 84 by 70 centimeters and is executed in a Realist style, classified within the genre of portraiture. Repin, known for his masterful capture of character and mood, presents Tolstoy in a manner that exudes intellectual depth and personal gravity.

In the artwork, Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy is depicted seated, turned slightly to his left with his body facing the viewer, offering a three-quarter view of his visage. His eyes are focused directly towards the onlooker, imparting an intense and penetrating gaze. The portrait showcases Tolstoy’s distinctive features: his earnest eyes, a well-groomed full beard, and the wavy, unkempt hair that frames his thoughtful expression.

Repin’s use of lighting accentuates Tolstoy’s facial features, illuminating his forehead, nose, and left cheek, while casting subtle shadows to add depth to his countenance. The dark backdrop provides a stark contrast to the lighter tones of Tolstoy’s skin and hair, further focusing the viewer’s attention on the subject. Tolstoy is dressed in a somber, formal attire, with a black jacket and a white shirt visible underneath. The robust brushstrokes and the attention to textile detail are evident in the rendering of his clothes and the patterned fabric of the chair upon which he leans.

Overall, Repin’s portrait of Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy is a rich, nuanced depiction that captures not only the physical likeness of the writer but also conveys a sense of his intellectual presence and inner complexity.

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