Repin, Ilia

Image - Ilia Repin Image - Ilia Repin: An Evening Party (Vechornytsi) (1881). Image - Ilia Repin: The Zaporozhian Cossacks Write a Letter to the Turkish Sultan (1880-91). Image - Ilia Repin: A Ukrainian Peasant House (1880). Image - Ilia Repin: An Avenue in the Kachanivka Park (1880). Image - Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts (late 19th-century photo).

Repin, Ilia, b 5 August 1844 in Chuhuiv, Zmiiv county, Kharkiv gubernia, d 29 September 1930 in Kuokkala, Finland. Painter; full member of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts from 1893. He studied in Saint Petersburg under Ivan Kramskoi at the Drawing School of the Society for the Support of Artists (1863–4) and then at the Academy of Arts (1864–71), which granted him a scholarship to study in Italy and France (1873–6). He joined the Peredvizhniki society in 1878 and the Mir Iskusstva group in 1890. For many years he lived in Saint Petersburg and served as a professor (1894–1907) at and the rector (1898–9) of the Academy of Arts, where his students included the Ukrainian painters Mykola Pymonenko, Oleksander Murashko, Fotii Krasytsky, and Semen Prokhorov. From 1900 Repin lived in Kuokkala. A good part of his work consists of genre paintings. Some of the works show his attachment to Ukraine, its people, and its history, among them the famous painting The Zaporozhian Cossacks Write a Letter to the Turkish Sultan (1880–91), Evening Party (1881), Haidamakas (1898–1917), Cossack in the Steppe, Black Sea Freebooters (1908), and Hopak (1926–30, unfinished). He painted many portraits of Russian and Ukrainian cultural figures, including Mykola I. Murashko (Portrait of Mykola I. Murashko, 1877), Arkhyp Kuindzhi (Portrait of Arkhyp Kuindzhi, 1877), Mykola Kostomarov (1880, 1886), Ivan Kramskoi (1882), Vasyl V. Tarnovsky (The Hetman. Portrait of Vasyl Tarnovsky, 1880), Sofiia Tarnovska (Portrait of Sofiia Tarnovska, 1880), Taras Shevchenko (1888), and Dmytro Bahalii (1906); did illustrations for editions of Nikolai Gogol's Taras Bul’ba (1872) and Sorochinskaia iarmarka (Sorochyntsi Fair, 1882) and for his friend Dmytro Yavornytsky's Zaporozh’e v ostatkakh stariny i predaniiakh naroda (The Zaporizhia in the Remnants of Antiquity and the Legends of the People, 1888); submitted four drawings in the competition for the design of Shevchenko's monument in Kyiv (1910–14); and painted and sketched many Ukrainian landscapes (such as A Ukrainian Peasant House, 1880) and inhabitants. Although Repin was a realist, his rich colors and restless lines often produce an almost expressionistic effect. Some of his paintings show the influence of impressionism and symbolism.

Butnik-Siverskii, B. (ed). Repin i Ukraina: Pis’ma deiatelei ukrainskoi kul’tury i iskusstva k Repinu, 1896–1927 (Kyiv 1962)
Bielichko, Iu. Ukraïna v tvorchosti I. Iu. Riepina (Kyiv 1963)
Grabar, I. Repin, 2nd rev edn, 2 vols (Moscow 1963–4)
Parker, F.; Parker, S. Russia on Canvas: Ilya Repin (University Park–London 1980)
Sternin, G.; et al. Ilya Repin: Painting, Graphic Arts (Leningrad 1985)
Kridl Valkenier, E. Ilya Repin and the World of Russian Art (New York 1990)

Sviatoslav Hordynsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

Image - Ilia Repin: A Bell Tower and Church in Hrushivka (1880). Image - Ilia Repin: Flats near Nykopil (1880). Image - Ilia Repin: Portrait of Leo Tolstoy (1887). Image - Ilia Repin: Portrait of Sofia Drahomyrova (1889). Image - Ilia Repin: Sketch of Yevdokia Husar (1881). Image - Ilia Repin: Self-Portrait (1878). Image - Ilia Repin: Ivan Sirko (1889). Image - Ilia Repin's portrait of Nikolai Pirogov (1881). Image - Ilia Repin: Portrait of Ivan Turgenev (1874). Image - Ilia Repin: Hopak (1930).

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