Ilya Repin (1844–1930)
The collection is built up ahead of the 175th anniversary of the birth of Ilya Repin - the Russian painter, professor, full member of the Imperial Academy of Arts. The collection features electronic copies of books, archival documents, articles from periodicals, devoted to the life and work of the artist, as well as reproductions of his paintings.
Ilya Repin was born in the town of Chuguyev, Kharkov Governorate. He took up drawing when he was a child and was an apprentice to icon painters in his youth. After working in the group of itinerant icon painters, he arrived in St. Petersburg and entered the Academy of Arts.
His early works, which he created as a student of the Academy, had success. The collection contains an archival document, which provides information about the painting Job and His Friends: the work of the young artist won a small gold medal at the exhibition of the Academy of Arts. The painter gave the painting as a present to an educational institution of the Imperial Philanthropic Society for teaching pupils.
Barge Haulers on the Volga is the first major painting by Ilya Repin. The collection features a book titled after the painting, which details the history of creation of the picture, while the sketches from the artist's album serve as illustrations.
In addition to this book, the collection features two more publications of the artist’s remarkable memoirs: Memories, Articles and Letters Written Abroad and Distant Closeness. Korney Chukovsky, editor of the second book, noted: “... when more than half a century ago Repin began to write his memoirs, he remembered others for long, forgetting about himself”. The book contains articles about Kramskoy, Ge, Antokolsky, Semiradsky, Stasov and others.
Ilya Repin forged close relationships with the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (Peredvizhniki) and the artists, who founded this society. In 1874 works by Repin went on display as part of the society, and in 1878 he was elected its member.
Ilya Repin reached the pinnacle of his career in the 1880s. He created an impressive gallery of portraits, worked as a historical artist, proved himself a master of genre art. The collection includes portraits of contemporaries of the great painter, such as V. M. Bekhterev, A. K. Glazunov, V. G. Korolenko, I. N. Kramskoy, D. I. Mendeleev, Nicholas II, L. N. Tolstoy and other outstanding figures.