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The Raising of Jairus’s Daughter. 1871

Repin Ilya,
Oil on сanvas
229 х 382

State Russian Museum


The Raising of Jairus’s Daughter was given to final-year students of the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1871 and received the most lifelike and emotional incarnation in the work of Ilya Repin. The artist was at first not particularly inspired by the theme, until he associated it with the death of his sister. Tragedy and sorrow combine with lucidity and hope, enriching the painting with an atmosphere of agitation, expressed in the tense ring of the colours and the lighting contrasts. The image of Jesus Christ is interpreted in the finest traditions of classical art and evokes the sensation of the special significance of the event. Its prototype can be regarded as Alexander Ivanov’s Christ from Christ’s Appearance to the People, though Repin’s Christ is simpler and more human. The sorrowful and deferential hope of the girl’s parents is contrasted to Jesus’ austere solemnity. The painterly culture and spirituality of the young artist’s canvas rank it alongside the leading works of Russian art. The Raising of Jairus’s Daughter was awarded a major gold medal and was acquired by the Imperial Academy of Arts.

Author's Biography

Repin Ilya

Repin, Ilya Yefimovich
1844, Chuguyev (Kharkiv Province) - 1930, Kuokkala (Finland)
Painter, draughtsman, watercolour painter, portraitist, history painter. Studied under local artists at the School of Military Topography in Chuguyev (1854-57), under Ivan Kramskoi at the School of Drawing, Society for the Encouragement of Artists (1863) and at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1864-71). Fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts in Italy and France, lived mostly in Paris (1873-76). Academician (1876). Professor, full member of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1893). Member of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1878, exhibited from 1874). Headed a studio at the Higher School of Art, Imperial Academy of Arts (1894-1907) and taught at Princess Maria Tenisheva''s school of art (1895-98). Lived in St Petersburg and Moscow, settled in Kuokkala (1900).

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