Description of the painting by Ilya Repin "Portrait of the writer V. M. Garshin"

Description of the painting by Ilya Repin

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1884, painted in oil on canvas. It is located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), New York, USA.

As a creator, Ilya Efimovich was inexhaustible and incredibly multifaceted as an artist, teacher, art theorist and writer, he was interested in historical, epic, folk stories and contemporaries. When creating stunningly realistic portraits, he “fell in love” for a while and went in cycles in a person, reading or listening to the works of writers and composers, memorizing poetic lines, and studying paintings by fellow artists.

For the first time, the painter met Vsevolod Mikhailovich in the concert and theater hall in St. Petersburg and immediately wanted to draw it. This did not happen right away, but in the end the image of the writer was reflected in three works by the master: the current, memorable “They Didn’t Wait” (returning exile), written in one year, and the next impressively gloomy “Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan” ( Tsarevich John). The artist saw in the young man a bashful, kind and beautiful angel, inside of which doom lay. During collaboration, they even became friends.

In many ways, Repin’s vision was reflected in Garshin’s sad, intelligent, serious and very deep eyes, in the general expression of his face. The abundance of books and sheets on the table shows how much he read, literally swallowing the texts. However, in Russian journalism, the writer was noted for short and emotional stories, the development of a special form of small prose - a short story.

Despite the light gray background, the canvas makes a rather heavy impression. It consists of black clothes, a hunched figure and several tense hands of the person portrayed, enhanced by the nervous, ocher-brown and green color of the furniture. It seems as if the artist saw and tried to betray the not so obvious, destructive side of this man’s personality, because in just a couple of years, in a fit of nervousness, he would drop off the stairs and die in terrible agony.

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