Portrait of Yurkevich (1879) by Ilya Repin

Portrait of Yurkevich - Ilya Repin - 1879

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Yurkevich
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Portrait of Yurkevich

The artwork “Portrait of Yurkevich” is a creation of the esteemed artist Ilya Repin, completed in the year 1879. As a representative of the Realism art movement, this portrait embodies the genre’s emphasis on depicting subjects in a truthful manner, devoid of artifice or exaggeration. Crafted during a time when realism sought to capture the human condition and its environment with sincerity, the artwork stands as a testament to Repin’s skill in encapsulating the essence of the individual subject.

In examining the artwork, one is immediately drawn to the subject’s arresting gaze, which seems to engage the viewer in silent dialogue. Rendered with fine brushwork, the facial features of Yurkevich are captured with precision, highlighting textured elements such as his tousled hair and the mustache that accentuates his upper lip. The expression on the subject’s face conveys a mixture of intensity and pensiveness, suggesting an inner life teeming with thought or emotion.

The use of light and shadow in the portrait is subtle yet effective, showcasing Repin’s adeptness at playing with tones to bring depth and realism to the subject’s visage. The choice of a muted palette, with a dominance of earthy and flesh tones, serves to focus attention squarely on Yurkevich, while the loose, informal attire, combined with the unadorned background, further emphasizes the unembellished reality that is characteristic of the Realism movement.

This masterful portrait not only captures the external likeness of Yurkevich but seems also to give us a glimpse into the character and disposition of the man himself, a quality that distinguishes Repin as a distinguished portraitist of his time.

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