Portrait of Protodeacon by Ilya Repin

Portrait of Protodeacon by Ilya Repin

A protodeacon is a title given in the clergy for special merit. This title was awarded to Ivan Ulanov, depicted in the painting by Ilya Repin “Protodeacon”. This picture was painted in 1877. And, at first glance, it would seem that this is an ordinary portrait, but the author has managed to show the entire monumental satirical image inherent in a typical deacon with his powerful and vital force. So, as by the condition of life he is doomed to spiritual hypocrisy in him the author did not depict anything spiritual.

The author himself made the image of the protodeacon complex and contradictory. All colors are dark and slightly different shade. The background is a little lighter, and the portrait itself is darker, but with a certain brightness. The figure of the protodeacon is drawn slightly in a spread. His torso is powerful and mighty, although his face is no longer young and covered with thick gray hair. The face shows pride and some kind of pomposity. Look studying and formidable. The clothes are rich and expensive. The cassocks and skufia on their heads are sewn of dark velvet.

In his hand he holds a long staff, decorated at the top with precious metal. With his other hand, he holds the fold hanging on a silver chain around his neck. In this way, the author wants to show the nature of a strong, influencing, but with the same, sly and self-serving. Repin at the same time wants to introduce us to a person who can be admired for his genuine pretense and also draws all the nuances, as they say, denounces him.

And although Ilya Repin was very risky, drawing a picture in the sense that was revealing to the clergy and the church, but still his picture became very popular. The image of the protodeacon attributed to the most vivid images of the artist. In this picture one can see his strength in the combination of individual characteristics and social generalization.

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