Mother’s Portrait by Ilya Repin

Mothers Portrait by Ilya Repin

This portrait depicts the artist’s mother, Tatiana Stepanovna Repina, nee Bocharova. This early work of the young painter was performed during the holidays, when he, then a student of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, stayed with his parents in Kharkov region in Osinovka settlement.

The picture, painted with attention and love, creates an image of a strong and serious, but at the same time kind and wise woman, to whom the viewer immediately feels sympathy and respect. Tatiana Stepanovna’s benevolent face with a warm golden tone clearly stands out against the thick background shadow, and her dress and shawl are filled with dark blue and blue flowers.

All this makes a very vivid impression; a small canvas looks monumental and solemn; on it is a strong-willed and intelligent woman, a real mistress of the house. In those days, the share of the soldier’s wife was not easy. Her husband was constantly sent on long hikes, and Tatiana Stepanovna, living with children in a military settlement to feed her family, was forced to work hard on the most difficult and dirty jobs.

But, despite the hard life, the mother of I. Ye. Repin, being an educated woman, was able to introduce children to books. She taught literacy not only to her children, there were more than ten children in her house whom the woman taught to read and write. Tatyana Stepanovna understood painting and brought up a love for art in her son.

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