"Reading woman, Repin – description of the painting
Description of the picture:
Reading woman – Ilya Efimovich Repin. 1876. Oil on canvas. 70 four x 50 5 cm
According to some sources, it is believed that the portrait depicts the sister-in-law of the artist. This painting fully reflected Repin’s ability to convey life as it is, without embellishing or belittling its beauty.
In the center of the picture is a young woman sitting in an armchair in a voluminous black dress with long sleeves. It is decorated with an ordinary linen snow-white collar and cuffs, there are no more jewelry and details, not counting a slightly noticeable large button or brooch on the chest. The girl has fluffy curly longish hair of a pleasant golden-red color. They seem luminous, airy and especially large due to the fact that the light is behind the figure of a seated lady.
The character of the picture sits in a soft armchair with the highest rounded back and velvet red upholstery. The background of the painting is neutral, made with wide brush strokes of grayish-olive paint. The folds of the dress are written in relief, they are highlighted behind and on the side, so the whole silhouette of the girl seems very dark and uniform, but not flat, but large. This technique makes the face of the person portrayed in particular expressive – it stands out against the monotonous background of the wall and seems to gape from the inside, illuminated by the internal energy and beauty of youth.
A woman is reading a letter, the torn envelope from which lies on her lap. This is a large sheet of paper, as if casting a glare of light on the face. The woman looks at him, bewitched, with her mouth a little open. But the most fascinating, as usual, is hiding in the details. It seems as if the letter is sitting in an armchair with both hands. In fact, this is not so – she only supports the paper with her right hand, on the other hand the letter is given to her by the hand of someone outside the picture. This brings a special hidden intrigue to the calm chamber plot of a work of art."