Ilya Repin (1844 - 1930) was one of the most renowned Russian artists of the 19th Century and was known for his beautiful and often dramatic realist/impressionist paintings.
Few Russian artists were able to garner such fame and notoriety during their lifetime. He was never satisfied with his paintings and was always experimenting with different styles and techniques.
He painted many subjects, including landscapes, cityscapes, religious and historical figures and animals. However, it is the stunning portrait paintings which really grab my attention. Few artists seem to be able to capture human emotion as well as Ilya Repin was able to.
His portraits are incredibly realistic, yet do not appear tight or refined. For those of you who are interested in portrait painting, then you should be studying the works of Ilya Repin as they really are what you should be aiming for. Even if you are not a fan of his style, his craftsmanship is unquestionable and something to admire.
In this post I feature 21 of his stunning portrait paintings. These are not necessarily his most famous portrait paintings, but they are in my opinion some of the most interesting.
Take note of his incredible brushwork and use of color to render his subjects.
Just click on the photos below to see larger versions.