St. Nicholas Saves Three Innocents from Death (1888) by Ilya Repin

St. Nicholas Saves Three Innocents from Death - Ilya Repin - 1888

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Artwork Information

TitleSt. Nicholas Saves Three Innocents from Death
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions215 x 196 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationRussian Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

About St. Nicholas Saves Three Innocents from Death

The artwork titled “St. Nicholas Saves Three Innocents from Death” is an oil painting on canvas by Ilya Repin, created in 1888. Measuring 215 by 196 centimeters, it is a religious painting that adheres to the Realism art movement. Currently, it can be viewed at the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

This piece of art vividly portrays a dramatic scene centered around the figure of St. Nicholas, who is renowned for his miracles and acts of compassion according to Christian tradition. In the artwork, St. Nicholas is depicted as an elderly, authoritative figure dressed in episcopal robes adorned with crosses, symbolizing his status within the church. He stands resolute, his hand firmly grasping the sword of the executioner, effectively staying the execution and thereby saving the lives of three men, who appear to be innocent victims. The central figures in this narrative are supported by a surrounding crowd, each individual perceptibly reacting to the unfolding event in their own way, adding to the tension and emotional depth of the scene.

The facial expressions and body language of the characters are rendered with meticulous attention to detail, a hallmark of Repin’s ability to capture human emotion and tell a compelling story through his work. The painting’s composition, grounded in historical realism and imbued with palpable religious sentiment, reflects the gravity of the scene and underscores the miracle attributed to St. Nicholas. Through this artwork, Repin not only communicates a specific narrative but also invites viewers to reflect on themes of justice, mercy, and divine intervention.

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