Oil on сanvas
400 x 877
State Russian Museum
Founded by Tsar Alexander I (1801–25), the State Council celebrated its centenary with a ceremonial sitting in the Round Room of the Mariinsky Palace in St Petersburg on 7 May 1901. All the members of the State Council and the State Chancellery attended in full-dress uniform. Tsar Nicholas II (1894–1917) and senior members of the Imperial family are flanked by their ministers. Repin painted the scene from behind the chairs on the right (next to the columns).
He rapidly sketched the original modello on a canvas on which the perspective of the hall had already been marked out, working from a previously selected point. The artist later turned this study into a large picture with the help of two students of the Imperial Academy of Arts — Boris Kustodiev and Ivan Kulikov. Every member of the State Council is depicted in natural and diverse poses, with strong physical resemblances.
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).