Ilya Repin's Barge Haulers on the Volga, painted between 1870 and 1873 is a stirring and evocative Realist canvas from the renowned painted and sculptor. Triggered by the dramatic and brutal labours of the peasant and convict populations along the Volga that Repin witnessed in 1870, the artist made a number of preparatory studies from life, attempting to accurately render the expanse of the Russian steppes and the exhaustive burden of the men's work. In a state of near exhaustion and close to collapse, Barge Haulers on the Volga is a figurative reproduction of a group of labourers hauling a barge upstream in thick, sultry weather. With strength and dignity the ghastly treatment of these individuals is a chilling vision of late nineteenth century Russia under the brutal Tsar. Having planned this dramatic narrative in paint during his journeys through his country as a young man, Repin based the various personalities to be found within the frame on characters he had found in the almost-mythic Russian countryside. A triumph of humanist painting, Repin's portrayal of the inequalities of his society was widely exhibited through Europe.
Repin's figurative reproduction is suffused with a documentary-quality, capturing vividly the cruelty committed on the lower-classes that would reach boiling point almost fifty years later with the Russian Revolution. Shunning the typically romantic approach taken in depicting the Russian landscape, Repin's Barge Haulers on the Volga coincided with his entry into the Peredvizhniki movement (the Wanderers or Itinerants in English), who were steeling themselves against the sentimental scenes of the Academic school of painting. Aiming to make painting more accessible and relevant to the rural masses, the Peredvizhniki sewed the seeds of a radical artistic cooperative movement. Breaking from tradition, Repin's painting came to the attention of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and thus entered into that remarkable trajectory of epic, socially-aware, Russian art of the late nineteenth-century.
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Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Barge Haulers on the Volga, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Barge Haulers on the Volga that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
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