Tuesday, February 23, 2010

THE ART OF IDEOLOGY




Repin Self-portrait 1878
From InfoUkes Inc.


Ilya Yefimovich Repin
Self-portrait, 1878
Oil on canvas, 69.5 × 49.6 cm
State Russian Museum St. Petersburg
Source picture.art-catalog.ru
From Wikipedia


Elias (Illya) Repin was born in the Ukrainian town of Chuhuyev, Kharkiv region on August 4, 1844. His father Yukhim, was a military colonist who farmed but was liable at all times for military duty. At the time of Elias's birth, the family fortunes had dropped and as a result in his early years the future painter suffered from abject poverty. As a young boy in north eastern Ukraine he earned money by painting portraits and icons. It was during his youth in Ukraine that his gift for art was nurtured through an elementary art education.
At the age of 20 Repin managed to enter the St. Petersburg Academy of Art in the Russian capital. In the same year, 1864 he enrolled at the School of Drawing. Because of his desperate financial situation the young artist had to work at odd jobs in these early years to finance his art studies.
Repin's first important paintings, in accordance with the requirements of the Academy of Art, were based on classical themes. His progress in portrait painting was exceptional. By the time he was 25 his reputation as a portrait painter was established. He painted portraits, with a profound psychological character, of the most notable men of the Russian Empire of his day, totalling over 300 in all.
(Andrew Gregorovich at InfoUkes.com)


Anton Grigorievich Rubinstein
Pianist, conductor, and composer
Oil on canvas, 1881
The Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow, Russian Federation)
Courtesy of the Visipix: 500,000+ hi-res image


Unexpected Visitors or Unexpected return, 1884-1888
The homecoming of a soldier from the war
Oil on canvas Date Source allpaintings.org
From Wikimedia


Portrait of the Surgeon Nikolai Ivanovich Pirogov
Oil on canvas, 64.5 × 53.4 cm.
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
Source lj.rossia.org
From Wikimedia



Vladimir Vasilievich Stasov, 1883
Russian art historian and music critic
Oil on canvas, 74 × 60 cm.
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
Source lj.rossia.org
From Wikipedia


Author Maxim Gorky, literary critic Vladimir Stasov
and artist Ilya Repin at Repin's Kuokkala home (ca. 1904)
From columbia.edu/cu


Portrait of the Composer Mikhail Glinka
Oil on canvas, 1887
The Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow, Russian Federation)
Courtesy of the Olga's Gallery


Composer Alexander Glazunov
Oil on canvas, 1887
Russian Museum (St. Petersburg, Russian Federation)
Courtesy of the Olga's Gallery


Composer Nikolay Rymsky-Korsakov
Oil on canvas, 1893
Russian Museum (St. Petersburg, Russian Federation)
Courtesy of the Olga's Gallery


Portrait of Nicholas II, 1896
Tsar St Nikolai Aleksandrovich
The Last Russian Emperor
Lived 1868-1918, ruled 1894-1917
killed by the Bolsheviks together with his family
17 July 1918 at Yekaterinburg
From 02varvara.wordpress.com


Dragonfly
Portrait of Vera Repina, the artist's daughter
Oil on canvas, 111 × 84,4 cm.
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Source dhl.hlhl.net
From Wikimedia


Sadko
From WILD CHERRIES


Repin paintings in Russian Museum, 2004
Saint Petersburg, Russia
From asergeev.com


Among his portraits of Ukrainians, his Shevchenko is an interesting study. In his portrait of the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko the artist gave him an admonishing look which penetrates through the viewer.
(Andrew Gregorovich at InfoUkes.com)
For six years Repin lived in Moscow (1876-1882). Then he moved to St. Petersburg. He also made several trips to Europe - in 1883, 1889, 1894, and 1900. He taught at St. Petersburg's Academy (1894-1907) and was an influential member of the Wanderers. In 1900, during his trip to Paris, Repin met Natalia Nordman, "the love of his life" (Repin was separated from his wife), and moved to her home Penaty (Penates), in Kuokkala (Finland), located about an hour train ride from St. Petersburg. Together they organized the famous Wednesdays at the Penaty which attracted the creative elite of Russia. When Nordman died in 1914, she left the estate to the Academy, but Repin occupied it for the next sixteen years.
(repingallery.com)


The Volga Boatmen
(Barge Haulers on the Volga), 1873
Probably the most famous work by Repin
From 01varvara.wordpress.com


The Barge Haulers was created by Repin over a period of three years, from 1870-1873. This work brought him instant recognition and established his fame. This was the first painting done by Repin after leaving the Imperial Academy of Arts in St Petersbug. The inspiration for the piece came to him when visiting the Volga region where he spent 3 months with his brother Vasily and friends. He took a boat trip down the Volga. Familiarising himself with the lives of the barge haulers. He observed them, sketched them and completed preliminary studies for the piece. The final version was completed in 1873 which was then exhibited at the Imperial Academy with a bang. The painting made Repin famous overnight. This canvas is also known as "The Bargemen on the Volga", "Volga Boatmen","Barge Haulers" and "The Volga Barge-Haulers."
(SQUIDOO)
Life wasn’t easy for “The Barge Haulers” either. Its painter, Ilya Repin, was a member of The Wanderers, a group of artists dedicated to using their art as a tool for social commentary and reform. With “The Volga Boatmen,” also called “Barge Haulers on the Volga,” we can feel the oppression and the disregard for human life. The haulers were comprised of mostly liberated serfs. Yet their opportunities for work remained limited. Serfs continued to represent the largest part of Russia’s population (painted 1870 – 73). Socialist realism was the politically correct form of art in the Soviet Union around the time Joseph Stalin became General Secretary of the Communist party. These paintings glorified farm collectives, athletes and revolutionary political figures. The Guggenheim labeled this period the art of ideology.
(NEW YORK MONTHLY HERALD)
In 1878, Repin joined the free-thinking "Association of Peredvizhniki Artists", generally called "the Wanderers" or "The Itinerants" in English, who, at about the time of Repin's arrival in the capital, rebelled against the academic formalism of the official Academy. His fame was established by his painting of the "Volga Barge Haulers", a work which portrayed the hard lot of these poor folk but which was not without hope for the youth of Russia. From 1882 he lived in Saint Petersburg but did visit his Ukrainian homeland and on occasion made tours abroad.
(ART EXPERTS, INC.)


Zaporozhian Cossacks of Ukraine
Writing a Letter to the Turkish Sultan, 1880-91
State Russian Museum
From moscowthroughbrowneyes.blogspot.com


Zaporozhian Cossacks of Ukraine
Writing a Letter to the Turkish Sultan
From Virtual Tourist


His greatest oil painting may be Zaporozhian Cossacks Writing a Letter to the Turkish Sultan, (above), painted 1878-91 after extensive research and many travels through Ukraine and the Zaporozhian area. The painting has a heroic quality capturing the independent spirit of the Ukrainian Cossacks and people. It is also imbued with considerable humour showing the cheering Cossacks composing an insulting letter to the mighty Sultan of the Turkish Empire. The painting is in the St. Petersburg Art Gallery in Russia but there is a variant version in the Kharkiv Art Gallery in Ukraine.
Into the superb canvas of Zaporozhians, his greatest masterpiece, Repin poured 13 years of his life. He sought to achieve historical accuracy through meticulous research with historian Dmytro Yavornytsky.
Other works on Ukrainian themes are Hetman, Vechomytsi, Ukrainmian Cottage and Procession in the Government of Kiev, which, according to Encyclopedia Britannica is one of "his chief pictures." The same source says Repin's paintings are powerfully drawn with not a little imagination and with strong dramatic force and characterization. Encyclopedia Americana says "He also won fame as a portrait painter, sculptor and etcher,"
Unexpected, a painting which depicts the homecoming of an exile from Siberia, is interesting because the models used were the artist's own family. His own home served as the background, and very clearly on the living room wall there is a portrait of Taras Shevchenko. Apparently Repin honored his countryman.
(Andrew Gregorovich at InfoUkes.com)


Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581
Oil on canvas, 1885
The Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow, Russian Federation)
From draumen.wordpress.com


In 1885, Repin completes one of the most famous paintings "Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan." The wife of the great chemist Mendeleev recalls: "I will never forget, just suddenly Ilya Efimovich invited us to the studio. Shedding light on a closed now, he drew back the curtain. Before us was a "terrible" murder of his son. " How long they all stood in silence, then began to speak, rushed to congratulate Ilya Yefimovich, shook hands and embraced.
The force impact of the paintings vividly conveyed Kramskoy: "First of all, I was overcome by a feeling of complete satisfaction for Repin. Here is the thing in the level of talent! .. Expressed and convex unveiled at the forefront - unexpectedness murder! This is the most phenomenal feature, it is extremely difficult and a decision only the two figures. The father hit his son with a rod in his head! Minute, and his father cried out in horror, ran to his son, grabbed him, sat down on the floor, lifted him to his knees and clutched tightly, tightly wound with one hand on the temple (and the blood spurts and gaps between the fingers), while another across the waist, cuddle and hard, hard kisses the head of his poor (extremely cute) son, and he yells (positively screaming) from the horror, in a helpless position. Throwing, catching, and his head, the father stain half (upper) face in the blood. A detail of Shakespeare′s comedy ... "Ivan the Terrible" - the phenomenon in Russian painting extraordinary. "
Conservative as part of Russian society, sharply condemned the picture. This view was expressed Attorney Pobedonostsev of the Holy Synod, which report to Tsar Alexander III said that this painting, "insulting to many government feeling."
The picture was bought PM Tretyakov, but on the orders of Alexander III was forced to keep it in closed storage. Only in 1913, viewers saw a masterpiece.
(the100.ru)


Aleksandr III
Tsar Aleksandr Aleksandrovich (Ivan Kramskoi, 1886)
Father of Tsar St Nikolai
Lived 1845-1894 and reigned 1881-94
From 02varvara.wordpress.com


Art critics have noticed a clear distinction and contrast between Repin's Ukrainian and Russian themes. The Ukrainian themes are positive and merry compared to his Russian paintings. For example compare the Russian Volga Boatmen and Ivan the Terrible Killing his Son with the Ukrainian Hopak or Zaporozhian Cossacks. Snowyd says "Ukraine in his paintings is all beauty, joy, happiness, a grand and even reckless struggle against powerful enemies. Russia is wallowing in uglliness and cruelty."
Repin's genius created in the Zaporozhians an immortal image of the heroic era of Ukrainian Cossack history. He refused to live in Soviet Russia after the Revolution and lived in Finland instead. In his last years he painted such Ukrainian works as Hopak and Black Sea Freemen. He died in Kuokkale, Finland at the age of eighty-six leaving a rich and magnificent artistic legacy.
(Andrew Gregorovich at infoukes.com)
During his maturity, Repin painted many of his most celebrated compatriots, including the novelist Leo Tolstoy, the scientist Dmitri Mendeleev, the imperial official Pobedonostsev, the composer Mussorgsky, the philanthropist Pavel Tretyakov, and the Ukrainian poet and painter, Taras Shevchenko.
(Wikipedia)


Portrait of Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev
wearing the Edinburgh University professor robe
Watercolour on paper, 57.5 × 46 cm
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Source picture.art-catalog.ru
From Wikipedia


Dmitri Mendeleev (1834-1907), above, is a famous Russian chemist who arranged the 63 known elements into a periodic table based on atomic mass, which he published in Principles of Chemistry in 1869. According to Mendeleev it took him 20 years to invent this system. During the time when the system was being invented atomic weights of many elements had been defined wrongly, forms of their compounds were imperfect, many elements had not been studied yet and as the result of all this there was a serious confusion in correlation between atomic weights and elements characteristics. Actually this invented periodical system was just one of many systems built basing on atomic weight.
From his remarkable table Mendeleev predicted the properties of elements then unknown; three of these (gallium, scandium, and germanium) were later discovered. He studied also the nature of solutions and the expansion of liquids. An outstanding teacher, he was professor at the Univ. of St. Petersburg (1868–90). He directed the bureau of weights and measures from 1893 and served as government adviser on the development of the petroleum industry. His Principles of Chemistry (2 vol., 1868–71; tr. 1905) was long a standard text.
(TRISTARMEDIA)


Portrait of the Composer Modest Mussorgsky, 1881
From 01varvara.wordpress.com


Portrait of Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, 1887
Oil on canvas, 124 × 88 cm.
Source lj.rossia.org
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
From Wikipedia


Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy shoeless, 1901
Oil on canvas. 207 × 73 cm.
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
From robertarood.wordpress.com


Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy resting in the forest
Oil on canvas, 60 × 50 cm.
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
From Wikimedia


Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy
From bilik.cn/kona


Konstantin Pobedonostsev
From Wikipedia


Pobedonostsev (above)was known for his gaunt figure and pale, corpse-like countenance, as one may judge from this portrait by Ilya Repin.
(Wikipedia)


Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov
founder of the Gallery
Oil on canvas. 98 × 75.8 cm.
Source Unit Art Studio CD-ROM about Ilya Repin
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
From Wikipedia


In 1903, Repin was commissioned by the Russian government to paint his most grandiose design, a 400x877 cm canvas representing a ceremonial session of the State Council of Imperial Russia.
(Wikipedia)


The centenary session of the State Council
The Marie Palace on May 5, 1901
now exhibited in the Russian Museum
From Wikipedia


Ilya Repin painting in Russian Museum, 2005
Saint Petersburg, Russia
From asergeev.com


State Council was the upper house of the parliament, while the State Duma of the Russian Empire was the lower house. Compared to the contemporary British House of Lords and Prussian Herrenhaus, the Russian upper chamber was more democratically constituted, as half of its members were democratically elected from different sections of society, while the House of Lords and Herrenhaus consisted of hereditary peers.
(Wikipedia)


Dr Pavlov in the Operating Theatre, 1888
From 01varvara.wordpress.com


The prominent Russian scholar and physiologist Ivan Pavlov (above) was born on 26 September 1848 into the family of a village priest. Pavlov attended theological seminary, and planned to assume his father’s role. However, a book on cerebrum reflexes that he read quite by chance radically changed his life. Ivan Pavlov abandoned his religious career and enrolled in the physics and mathematics faculty of St Petersburg University. He became a brilliant physiologist and devoted his life to science.
As he carried out research on the physiology of digestion, he conducted experiments on dogs that led him to conclude that the nervous system governs the digestive system. Experiments in the field brought Pavlov world acclaim and the Nobel Prize. At the height of his success, all of a sudden, Pavlov made a sharp turn from the research on digestion to studies of the psychic activity of animals. He had long been wondering, why dogs secrete saliva as soon as they hear their food bowl clink, and what organ is responsible. Based on his experiments, Pavlov differentiated between the existence of conditioned, or acquired, and unconditioned, innate, reflexes.
In further experiments, he discovered that the cortex of the great hemispheres is the receptacle of conditioned reflexes and the sub-cortex area of unconditioned ones. Similarly, human beings harbour two sources that can be either in harmony or in conflict. The upper part of the cerebrum, the home of our life experience, hinders the activity of the lower part, a source of hereditary properties. Temporary ties dominate the inborn ones. It does happen sometimes that we have to exert so much effort to stifle excessive discretion or unrestrained passion that it can lead to a tragic ending. The discovery of reflexes had a great importance for studies of the higher nervous activity of animals and human beings, and this theory was used widely in psychiatry, biology, psychology, and pedagogy.
Pavlov was an indefatigable researcher. His mind was occupied with work all the time. When Newton was asked how he discovered the laws governing the movement of heavenly bodies, the scientist replied that it was all very simple; he just never stopped thinking about them. Neither did Pavlov. All his conversation boiled down to scientific ideas. He was also an outstandingly talented lecturer. One of his foreign colleagues said he might have made an excellent actor. Indeed, his speech and manners were highly emotional and saturated with humour. Speaking at congresses in Europe and America Pavlov voiced strikingly daring ideas, which he insisted upon, and he compelled the scientific community to accept them.
Pavlov often received criticism for slaughtering hundreds of dogs in the course of his experiments. To this, he replied that when he started an experiment that will end with the death of the animal, he felt sorry about that, being a slaughterer cutting short a life in its prime. However, he had to step over it, he said, in the interests of truth and for the good of mankind. Pavlov liked his laboratory dogs, and he granted a “pension” to the most distinguished ones, as he put it, feeding them until they died. In appreciation for the contribution the dogs made to science, Pavlov built a memorial in front of his clinic.
(01varvara.wordpress.com)
In 1901 Repin left Zdravnevo to live in his estate which he bought in Kuokkala in the Grand Duchy of Finland. He named it Penaty. After the 1917 October revolution Penaty was now in Finland. Finland having received its independence from the Russian Empire in 1918. Repin decided to stay on in Kuokkala despite being asked by various Soviet Institutions to return to his homeland. He refused the invitations saying he was too old to make the move. He never returned to Russia. His life at Penaty saw his later years, years as a mature artist who was still bestowed national and international accolades. He received the Legion of Honor from France in 1901, elected member of the Academy of Sciences, literature and fine arts in Prague in 1902. 1904 saw him elected as honorary member of the Moscow Literary and Artistic Society. During this time he was still teaching at the Academy in St Petersburg (he resigned briefly in 1905). In 1907 Repin left the Academy as a teacher (this time for good) he was now 63 years old.
Finding he had more time on his hands which he continued painting with, he also began writing. He wrote various articles (one commemorating the 100th anniversary of the writer Nikolai Gogol and two which were highly critical of modern art). In 1916 he published his memoir's "Far & Near".
(SQUIDOO)


I. E. Repin painting a portrait of Feodor Chaliapin, 1915
Source zeno.org
From Wikimedia


Artistically he was still very active, he painted until the end of his life. He was unfortunately, in these later years, handicapped by the atrophy of his right hand. Repin could not produce works of the same quality as those that brought him fame. Although he trained himself to paint with his left hand, he lived his last years under a constant financial strain.
His last painting was rendered in 1927, a big vibrant, joyful canvas based on an Ukrainian Cossack theme: "The dance of the Gopacks". Repin passed away on the 29th September 1930. He is buried in Penates. In 1939, the Soviet Army reacquired Kuokalla and as a result named the village "Repino".
(SQUIDOO)




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