Putting a Propagandist Under Arrest (1879) by Ilya Repin

Putting a Propagandist Under Arrest - Ilya Repin - 1879

Artwork Information

TitlePutting a Propagandist Under Arrest
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Putting a Propagandist Under Arrest

The artwork “Putting a Propagandist Under Arrest” is a creation by the artist Ilya Repin, dated to the year 1879. As a representative piece of the Realism art movement, this particular work falls under the genre of sketch and study, showcasing Repin’s adeptness at capturing a moment with vigorous strokes and shading.

In the artwork, a series of figures are gathered within what appears to be an interior setting, densely packed and enveloped by a somber atmosphere. The focal point of the scene is a male figure standing toward the right of the composition, separated by a small expanse from a seated elder and surrounded by an attentive audience. His attire, which includes a long coat and possibly restraints, marks him as the individual being apprehended. The attention of the onlookers is fixated on this central figure, while emotions ranging from curiosity to concern are discernable on their faces. Notable is the handling of light and shadow, which compartmentalizes the scene into areas of tension and calm. Off to the side, a child looks on, adding an element of innocence to the otherwise grave proceedings.

Scattered on the floor in front of the seated man is what appears to be a suitcase or box, its contents spilled, which could allude to the evidence or cause of the arrest. The expressive lines and the dynamic arrangement of characters contribute to a profound narrative quality, suggesting a story unfolding about social justice or political upheaval, consistent with Repin’s interest in critical social commentary through his art.

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