Ilya Repin


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The most celebrated Russian painter of his day, equally renowned for his portraits (his sitters included many of his most famous contemporaries) and for his dramatic scenes from Russian history, painted in a colourful, full-blooded style. He became professor of history painting at the St Petersburg Academy in 1894 and was an influential teacher, his pupils including Serov, Jawlensky and Werefkin. Repin had a country estate at Kuokkala (now renamed Repino afer him), which is near St Petersburg but at this time was in Finland. After Finland declared independence from Russia in 1917, he spent the rest of his life cut off from his own country, but he remained a figure of massive authority there. With the imposition of Socialist Realism in the 1930s he was established as the model and inspiration for the Soviet painter. His home at Repino is now a museum dedicated to him.

Subjects: Art.

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