REPIN, ILJA JEFIMOVICH (1844–), Russian painter, was born in 1844 at Tschuguev in the department of Charkov, the son of parents in straitened circumstances. He learned the rudiments of art under a painter of saints named Bunakov, for three years gaining his living at this humble craft. In 1863 he obtained a studentship at the Academy of Fine Arts of St Petersburg, where he remained for six years, winning the gold medal and a travelling scholarship which enabled him to visit France and Italy. He returned to Russia after a short absence, and devoted himself exclusively to subjects having strong national characteristics. In 1894 he became professor of historical painting at the St Petersburg Academy. Repin's paintings are powerfully drawn, with not a little imagination and with strong dramatic force and characterization. A brilliant colourist, and a portrait-painter of the first rank, he also became known as a sculptor and etcher of ability. His chief pictures are “Procession in the Government of Kiev,” “Home-coming,” “The Arrest,” “Ivan the Terrible's murder of his Son,” and, best known of all, “The Reply of the Cossacks to Sultan Mahmoud IV.” The portraits of the Baroness V. I. Ülskül, of Anton Rubinstein and of Count Leo Tolstoy are among his best achievements in this class. The Tretiakov gallery at Moscow contains a very large collection of his work.
See “Professor Repin,” by Prince Bojidar Karageorgevich, in the Magazine of Art, xxiii. p. 783 (1899); “Russian Art,” a paper by E. Brayley Hodgetts in the Proceedings of the Anglo-Russian Literary Society (5th of May 1896); “Ilja jefimovich Repin,” by Julius Norden, in Velhagen and Klasing's Monatshefte, xx. p. 1 (1905); also R. Muther, History of Modern Painting (ed. 1907), iv. 272.