Student Nihilist (1883) by Ilya Repin

Student Nihilist - Ilya Repin - 1883

Artwork Information

TitleStudent Nihilist
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions35 x 27 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationFar East Museum of Fine Arts, Khabarovsk, Russia

About Student Nihilist

The artwork entitled “Student Nihilist” is a painting created by the artist Ilya Repin in the year 1883. Executed in oil on canvas, the piece measures 35 by 27 centimeters and is a portrait, which is a typical genre of the Realism art movement to which Repin was associated. The artwork is held in the collection of the Far East Museum of Fine Arts, located in Khabarovsk, Russia.

This portrait captures a young man, portrayed with a thoughtful, perhaps introspective gaze. His attire is modest, consisting of a dark jacket and an unbuttoned white shirt, representing the typical dress for a student of that era. The brushwork is vigorous and expressive, a hallmark of Repin’s technique, allowing the character of the subject to resonate with viewers. The artwork’s composition, focusing on the individual’s upper body, brings the viewer’s attention to the subject’s face and hands, emphasizing the emotional content and the intensity of the sitter’s expression.

The dark, muted tones of the man’s clothing contrast with the lighter tones of his skin, while the background remains loosely defined, directing all focus to the subject of the portrait. Ilya Repin’s mastery in capturing the psychological depth in his sitters is evident here, providing a candid glimpse into the character and mood of the young nihilist student at a time when nihilism was a significant cultural and philosophical movement in Russia.

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