The sergeant, from the back, lit by the sun (1885) by Ilya Repin

The sergeant, from the back, lit by the sun - Ilya Repin - 1885

Artwork Information

TitleThe sergeant, from the back, lit by the sun
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About The sergeant, from the back, lit by the sun

The artwork entitled “The sergeant, from the back, lit by the sun” is a creation of the esteemed artist Ilya Repin, dating back to the year 1885. It falls under the Realism art movement, a genre dedicated to depicting subject matter in a truthful manner, free from artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions or implausible, exotic, and supernatural elements. This particular piece is classified as a portrait, though it presents the subject from an uncommon angle, focusing on the figure from behind.

In the artwork, the central figure is a sergeant, viewed from the back. The sunlight illuminates the subject, creating a play of light and shadow that highlights the textures of the subject’s attire and the surrounding environment. The sergeant’s coat appears rugged and functional, adorned with a blue sash tied at the waist, which provides a striking contrast to the otherwise subdued color palette. The sash’s tail ends dangle freely, adding a sense of motion and detail to the otherwise static scene. The subject’s hair is visible from under their headwear, suggesting a casual, unguarded moment captured by the artist.

The naturalistic rendering of the figure, coupled with the hints of greenery in the background, situates the sergeant in an outdoor setting. The artist’s use of brushwork conveys a sense of immediacy and intimacy, inviting the viewer to contemplate the story or circumstances of the depicted individual. The artwork’s composition eschews a direct engagement with the viewer, as the subject’s gaze and facial expressions remain unseen, leaving much to interpretation. Repin’s treatment of light, texture, and color exemplifies the Realist movement’s dedication to portraying scenes and figures in a believable and authentic manner.

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