Portrait of the composer M. P. Mussorgsky by Ilya Repin

Portrait of the composer M. P. Mussorgsky by Ilya Repin

The famous Russian painter Ilya Repin during his life wrote many wonderful portraits. But the portrait of Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky occupies a special place in the artist’s work, since this is the only portrait of the composer made during his lifetime. The work was written in the last days of the composer’s life.

From the picture a sick man looks at us, who has a premonition of his imminent demise. Careless beard and mustache, ruffled hair can not overshadow the composer’s heartfelt glance. In this look, sadness, despair and unwillingness to part with life are immediately apparent. But

at the same time we see the eyes of an energetic and courageous innovator, author of brilliant works.

At first sight of the viewer, the background of the portrait may seem empty. But his sky blue tones create the illusion of clouds and the unreality of what is happening. Background optimism contrasts with the look of a hospital gown. The artist and the composer realize that the great musician will not leave these walls, but he will remain to live in his works…

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