Portrait of writer Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (1874) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of writer Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev - Ilya Repin - 1874

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of writer Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Portrait of writer Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev

The artwork titled “Portrait of writer Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev” is an exemplar of Realism, a movement known for its dedication to depicting subjects as they appear in everyday life, devoid of artifice or exaggeration. Created by the artist Ilya Repin in the year 1874, this work falls into the genre of portraiture, capturing the likeness and character of the celebrated writer Ivan Turgenev.

The artwork presents a sophisticated rendering of the Russian writer seated against a dark, muted background that draws the viewer’s attention towards the figure himself. Repin has masterfully employed a subdued palette predominated by earthy tones, which underscores the serious and contemplative mood of the portrait. Turgenev is depicted with an imposing presence, his posture relaxed yet commanding. He sits comfortably in an embellished wooden chair, his left arm resting on the armrest and his right hand delicately holding a pair of spectacles.

Repin’s brushwork conveys a tactile sense of the textures within the scene, from the softness of Turgenev’s ample white beard to the crispness of his shirt cuff and the solidity of the chair. The writer’s expressive facial features, framed by his voluminous hair, convey a sense of quiet intelligence and reflect a contemplative demeanor. His eyes, gazing slightly off-canvas, seem to be lost in thought or possibly fixed on a distant point beyond the viewer’s perspective. The lighting emphasizes the introspective nature of the subject, playing across his visage to reveal the creases of age and experience, which suggests the depth of his personal and literary journeys.

Repin’s talent for psychological characterization is evident through the granular details that invite speculation about Turgenev’s inner life and state of mind at the moment captured. This portrait is not only an artistic triumph but also a historical document, offering insight into the character of one of Russia’s literary giants through the careful and empathetic eye of one of its greatest painters.

Other Artwork from Ilya Repin

More Realism Artwork

Scroll to Top