Portrait of Vengerov (1916) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of Vengerov - Ilya Repin - 1916

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Vengerov
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Portrait of Vengerov

The artwork titled “Portrait of Vengerov” is an exemplary work of Ilya Repin, a Russian painter known for his mastery in Realism. Created in 1916, this portrait falls within the Realist art movement, which aims to depict subjects as they appear in everyday life, without embellishment or interpretation. As is characteristic of the genre, the portrait aims to capture the essence and the temperament of the individual, presenting a faithful visual rendering of Vengerov.

In examining the artwork, one notices the dignified depiction of a man seated in what appears to be a sumptuous interior space. The subject is dressed in formal attire—a dark suit with a bow tie and a white shirt—exemplifying the fashion of the period. He appears comfortably relaxed in an armchair, with his hands gently placed on its armrests, one holding a pair of glasses. The man’s expression is genial, with a subtle smile that conveys a sense of contentment and approachability.

Repin’s brushwork is dynamic, with gestural strokes that impart a sense of liveliness to the sitter’s visage and hands, as well as the surroundings. The treatment of light and color demonstrates the artist’s skillful use of paint to create a harmonious composition despite the variety of tones and textures. There’s a noticeable contrast between the detailed rendering of the subject’s face and hands and the more impressionistic approach to the background, which features a partially visible window looking out onto what appears to be green foliage, casting a soft, natural light upon the interior scene.

The brushstrokes in the background are more abstract compared to the well-defined forms of the subject, creating a sense of depth and space within the portrait. The signature and date are conspicuously inscribed in the lower right corner, affirming the work’s authenticity and historical context. Overall, this artwork is an astute representation of character and a fine illustration of Repin’s Realist style, capturing the essence of the portrayed individual with a richness of detail and expression.

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