“Arrest of the propagandist”, Repin – overview of the painting

“Arrest of the propagandist”, Repin – overview of the painting
"Arrest of the propagandist", Repin - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Ilya Efimovich Repin
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1880 – 1889, 1892

Overview of the painting :

The arrest of the propagandist is Ilya Efimovich Repin. 1880 – 1889, 1892. Wood, butter. 38.4 x 54.6 cm

   This is one of the most famous paintings by the artist. It depicts the moment of the arrest of a man engaged in revolutionary propaganda. At that time, it was a topical topic, and Repin could not pass by it. The country was experiencing a surge in social activity, the rise of the revolutionary movement, which was accompanied by numerous acts of violence.

   The picture shows the moment when the propagandist was exposed and convicted of illegal activities. The action takes place in a simple peasant hut with miserable wooden floors in cracks and cracks, with bare unsightly walls. Against the background of universal grayness and gloom, the scarlet shirt of the arrested person glows brightly with a bright flame – this is the emotional center of the picture.

   The composition of the picture is decided by groups, where the main element is the main character and the people holding it. The angle of the picture is occupied by large figures in the foreground – an elderly gendarme reading one of the leaflets of the propagandist, and a young gentleman bending over him with a mustache. Behind them, a door to another room is visible, where indignant and somewhat exciting people are drowning.

   The figures in the background are simple peasants in rude, slanty clothes. They look on opposite sides, trying to understand the meaning of what is happening. In the foreground, the open suitcase with scattered contents attracts attention – the main evidence against the propagandist.

   The picture is mainly written in dark inexpressive colors, the exceptions are only two pure color spots – the red shirt of the central hero and the blue cover of the opened suitcase. This technique involuntarily forces you to fix on these colors, emphasizing their importance.

   It is made in a manner characteristic of Repin – part of it is prescribed very carefully, with the smallest details, such as floorboards, a suitcase with papers, a figure sitting on a gendarme chair and a person next to it. All other characters are expressive and noticeable, but written in a different manner – with wide spectacular strokes, almost sketchy. This adds a picture of liveliness, gives movement, special energy.