Foreign Policy Blogs

Casual Friday: Ilya Repin–Wanderer, Artist

Student-Nihilist (1883)Strictly speaking, Mr.Repin's work does not belong in a Central Asia blog.  Ilya Repin was an ethnic Russian who grew up in the Ukraine and eventually settled in Belarus.  Yet Mr. Repin painted a series of four works that described the conflict between Tsarist secret police and Russian revolutionaries that still resonates today. 

For our time, this series shows so much about rents in social fabric: in particular, the psychology of people of conscience who rebel against autocratic regimes, whether punctilious or searching or outraged; powerlessness against, and defiance of, authority.  The last painting shows the cost to both prisoner and those who must somehow get by in their absence. 


The Revolutionary Meeting (1883)


Arrest of a Propagandist (1880-1892)


Refusal to Confess (1879-1885)

Casual Friday: Ilya Repin--Wanderer, Artist

They Did Not Expect Him (1884)

For those of us who have not endured this kind of conflict, this is one of the ways we learn to understand: through the enduring power of art.

Three internet Biographies of Ilya Repin (I liked Wikipedia just fine): 24 digital, Olga's Gallery, Wikipedia

Photos: First four, Olga's Gallery; Last one, Auburn University