“Secret Vespers”, Ilya Repin – overview of the painting

“Secret Vespers”, Ilya Repin – overview of the painting
"Secret Vespers", Ilya Repin - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Ilya Efimovich Repin
  • Museum: Novgorod State Museum
  • Year: 1903

Overview of the painting :

Last Supper – Ilya Efimovich Repin. 1903. Oil on canvas. 104 x 63 cm
   A very common religious plot was used for the picture – the last meal of Jesus Christ on the eve of his arrest and death. The canvas depicts a spacious room in the house of Simon the leper, where all the disciples of Christ gathered for a late dinner.

   The room is illuminated by high open flame lamps, the vibrations of which create the illusion of movement. The picture depicts a moment when everyone has already had dinner and with living attention they listen to the sermons of Jesus. It was on a secret evening that he told his followers that one of the apostles would betray him. The variety of postures of the figures located around the table makes the composition dynamic and impressive.

   The picture is written in a wide free brush strokes, in a sketch style. The color scheme is rich, and the figure of Christ is highlighted in white – his robe focuses on his epic figure. The rest of the figures of the apostles are not clearly distinguished, they are written freely and schematically enough, which does not deprive the picture of attractiveness, on the contrary, gives it expressiveness and drama.