The exhibition devoted to Ilia Repine at the Petit Palais in Paris is an opportunity to immerse oneself in the Russian realist world of the Ambulant style present in Russia in the second half of the 19th century.

The Ambulants were a group of exclusively Russian artists whose works were realistic and whose subjects were a reaction against the teaching of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg. Repine was a member of the Ambulants from 1878.

The breathers of the Volga, 1870-1873

The exhibition is entitled "Painting the Russian Soul" because Repine's paintings, which are intended to be nationalistic, give an insight into Russian life at the time.  

From 1873 onwards, Repine travelled to Europe and settled in Paris, in the Montmartre district, where he was inspired by the rural and urban landscape to paint scenes of ordinary life.

This painting is a portrait of Modest Mussorgsky, a Russian composer and friend of Repine. The painting was done a few days before the death of the composer who was seriously ill.

Repine,

Sadko in the underwater kingdom, 1876

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