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Studying for an Exam. 1864

Repin Ilya,
Oil on canvas
36 х 44,8

State Russian Museum


Created in the traditions of the Russian school of genre painting of the 1840s and 1850s, this candid and humorous work betrays the excellent professional training, attention to details and realistic aspirations of the twenty-year-old artist. Studying for an Exam also reflects the influence of Repin’s first teachers — the slightly naïve and poetic reproduction of life by the painters of Chuguyev in Kharkiv Province. Alternatively titled Aerial Kiss, the painting depicts the two brothers of the artist’s future wife — Alexander Shevtsov (student of architecture at the Imperial Academy of Arts) and Alexei Shevtsov (grammar-school student). Repin was at that time living with the family on the Fifteenth Line of Vasilyevsky Island.

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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