Religious Procession in Kursk (1880 – 1883; Russian Federation) by Ilya Repin

Religious Procession in Kursk - Ilya Repin - 1880 - 1883; Russian Federation

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Artwork Information

TitleReligious Procession in Kursk
ArtistIlya Repin
Date1880 - 1883; Russian Federation
Dimensions175 x 280 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationTretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

About Religious Procession in Kursk

The artwork “Religious Procession in Kursk Province” by Ilya Repin was created between 1880 and 1883. This oil on canvas painting measures 175 x 280 cm and is housed in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia. Repin, a key figure in the Realism art movement, captures a genre scene, vividly portraying a moment in Russian cultural life.

In the artwork, a large procession of people traverses a dusty landscape under an expansive sky. Prominently featured in the center is a richly adorned icon carried under a baldachin, surrounded by a diverse tapestry of individuals from various walks of life. The procession exhibits a hierarchy of classes, from peasants to clergy and soldiers, which is reflective of the social order of that era.

Some participants display reverence, their faces tilted upward and hands clasped in prayer, while others seem to be struggling, such as a group of ragged individuals carrying a disabled person on their shoulders. The presence of military personnel underscores the intertwining of religious and state authorities.

Repin’s masterful use of light accentuates textures—from the shimmering adornments of the religious icon to the weathered clothing of the peasantry—adding a tangible realism to the scene. The composition captures a wealth of narratives and expressions, making the artwork a profound commentary on the social, religious, and political climate of Tsarist Russia.

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