Ilja Repin: In Search of Russia

15.08.2003 to 02.11.2003

Alte Nationalgalerie

Because of the versatility and groundbreaking artistry of his work, Repin is rightly considered a key figure of 19th-century art in Russia. The exhibition offers an extensive overview of Repin's stylistic development, starting with his realistic and detailed early works, to the spectacular, large-scale history paintings of his middle years, and finally the atmospheric depictions of religious and political themes in his late oeuvre, which have not yet been paid much attention even in Russia. With about 100 works from all periods, including 60 paintings and 35 drawings, Ilja Repin is to be discovered anew as the 'Tolstoy of Russian art'.

The art of Repin powerfully reflects the historical and social developments in Russia between 1860 and the era of revolutions from 1905: The Volga-impressions on canvas and paper, the portraits of Mussorgski, Rubinstein, Leo Tolstoy and Maxim Gorky, the paintings showing the destinies of the Russian nation from Ivan the Terrible to the last czars, and the pictorial documentation of the foreshocks of the revolution. In 'Repin's realities', this diversity across the epochs finds a unified artistic form.