Send off of recruit (1879) by Ilya Repin

Send off of recruit - Ilya Repin - 1879

Artwork Information

TitleSend off of recruit
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions143 x 225 cm
Art MovementRealism

About Send off of recruit

The artwork titled “Send off of a recruit” was crafted by the artist Ilya Repin in 1879. This piece was rendered in oil paint on canvas and is an exemplar of the Realism art movement. The dimensions of the artwork are notable, measuring 143 by 225 centimeters, and fittingly, it belongs to the genre painting category, which visually narrates everyday life scenes.

In the artwork, the viewer is presented with a poignant scene of farewell that captures the emotional weight of departure. A group of individuals, most likely family and friends, are gathered around a young man who appears to be the recruit referenced in the artwork’s title. The setting appears to be a humble village home or courtyard, illuminated by the soft, natural light that bathes the ensemble in a somber yet warm atmosphere, evocative of the emotional gravity of the moment.

Central to the composition are a woman and the recruit in an embrace, suggesting a poignant goodbye. The recruit’s expression is restrained but betrays a sense of duty and resignation to his fate. Surrounding figures exhibit a range of emotions—from sorrow to stoicism—each person contributing to the collective narrative of the artwork. Their traditional clothing and the rustic surroundings, including a horse-drawn cart, underscore the rural context of the scene and the impact such separations have within tight-knit communities.

Repin’s mastery in realistic representation is evident in the minute details and the textural quality of the surfaces, from the wood grain on the buildings to the textures of the clothing. Each character is individualized, with attention paid to gestures and facial expressions, which lend authenticity and depth to the portrayal of this emotionally charged farewell. Overall, the artwork serves as a powerful encapsulation of societal and personal sacrifice, rendered with a profound sense of empathy and narrative skill by Ilya Repin.

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