REPIN, Ilya Yefimovich
(b. 1844, Chuguyev, d. 1930, Kuokkala)
Russian painter and draughtsman of Ukrainian birth. He is especially celebrated for his treatment of historical themes and contemporary socio-political issues, and for his many portraits, and is known as the foremost exponent of the Russian Realist style that developed in the late 19th century.
After training with a provincial icon painter and at the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts, he visited France and Italy on an academy scholarship. On his return he began painting subjects from Russian history. He achieved international fame with Volga Bargemen, a grim, powerful image that became the model for Soviet Socialist Realism. He exhibited this painting at the World Fair in Vienna in 1873.
Between 1873 and 1876 he was on a scholarship in Italy and France. In 1877-82 he was in Moscow, then he moved to St. Petersburg where he met Tolstoy. In 1883 he traveled in Western Europe and Impressionist features became increasingly apparent in his work.
Among his best-known works is Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan (1895), depicting Ivan's murder of his son. He also painted vigorous portraits (including Leo Tolstoy and Modest Mussorgsky). In 1894 he became professor of historical painting at the St. Petersburg Academy. In 1900 he was jury member of the Paris World Fair, he was awarded the Legion of Honour.