21 Inspiring Portraits By Ilya Repin – The Russian Master

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.

Ilya Repin
Ilya Repin

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.

Thanks for Reading!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I appreciate it! Feel free to share with friends. If you want more painting tips, check out my Painting Academy course.

Happy painting!

Dan Scott
Draw Paint Academy


Dan Scott is the founder of Draw Paint Academy. He's a self-taught artist from Australia with a particular interest in landscape painting. Draw Paint Academy is run by Dan and his wife, Chontele, with the aim of helping you get the most out of the art life. You can read more on the About page.

5 comments on “21 Inspiring Portraits By Ilya Repin – The Russian Master”

  1. Thank you Dan for sending these images. it is always good to study the works of great artists. Are these hung in a Russian Gallery?

  2. Some of these portratits are quick studies, some are complete paintings, and some are serious studies for his monumental paintings. It would have a great educational value to see the process, or progress, from a brief sketch to a series of studies to a complete painting. Like the last study of a Cossack for his big painting “Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV of the Ottoman Empire” – the difference between the initial artist’s idea and the final product is astonishing… It could become a great lesson of polishing artistic ideas until they become completely perfect!

    • Interesting comment Tatiana and I completely agree. In fact, for some of the paintings in this post I thought the ‘study’ versions were more interesting.



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