Some more detail of an influential painter!


Over at Book Drum I’m busy working on my entry to the second annual Book Drum Tournament, compiling a profile of War and Peace. I’ve found I’ve been using a lot of paintings by Ilya Yefimovich Repin to illustrate things. He was painting after the time W&P is set, but not long after it was written, so I think I can be forgiven for this.

The more I look at his work, the less I can understand why he is not far better known in the West. He was lauded by the Soviets so by the rules of ‘my enemy’s friend is my enemy’ the West would be inclined to ignore him, but I think that’s a terrible shame.

His most famous work, arguably, is The Barge Haulers, a painting that had a tremendous impact when it was first shown in Russia. It shows the inhuman conditions in which…

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