Returning from the war (1877) by Ilya Repin

Returning from the war - Ilya Repin - 1877

Artwork Information

TitleReturning from the war
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Returning from the war

The artwork “Returning from the War” was created by the artist Ilya Repin in 1877 and is classified within the Realism movement. As a genre painting, this piece depicts a scene from everyday life with a focus on genuine and accurate representation without idealization.

The artwork presents an intimate domestic setting where characters appear engaged in a poignant moment. The central figures are soldiers returning from war, as suggested by their attire and demeanour. The room is humble and sparsely furnished, indicating a simple lifestyle of the inhabitants. The returning soldiers are met with varied reactions from the other characters in the scene, ranging from elation and welcome to contemplative silence, possibly reflecting on the costs or experiences of war. A sense of fatigue and relief seems to emanate from the soldiers, contrasting with the excitement and warmth shown by some of the welcoming party.

Each individual in the painting is rendered with meticulous attention to detail, from their expressions to their clothing, underscoring the typical Realist approach of focusing on the truthfulness and authenticity of the human condition. The use of light and shadow contributes to the dramatic effect, highlighting the emotional responses of the figures and drawing the viewer’s attention to the central narrative of reunion and return.

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