Ilya Repin, Russian famous realist painter was born on August 5, 1844. He was the most renowned Russian artist of the 19th century when his position in the world of art was comparable to that of Leo Tolstoy in literature.
Repin was also known as a "mystical artist", and there are a lot of reasons for it.
Here are few interesting facts about the artist and his paintings.
Repin has been working a lot, and after constant tiredness, his right arm started hurting. He had to stop working for a while and got into deep depression. Some people said it happened after he did famous painting "Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan" in 1885. Everyone spoke about "cursed" painting and reflection of non-existent historical events.
After a while, Repin learned how to paint with his left hand.
Another mysterious fact happened to same painting. When Abram Balashov, Russian icon painter, saw canvas for the first time, he snapped the picture and cut it with a knife while screaming: "Stop the bloodshed". After that accident, Balashov was sent to a psychiatric hospital.
While this painting was exhibited in the Tretyakov Gallery, it did ununderstandable effect to its visitors, some of them were getting anxiety attacks, or were starting crying. Skeptics say it could be due to its "realistic" look. Even the blood looks real.
There is a myth about Repin's models dying. Mussorgsky, Pisemsky, Pirogov, actor Mercy d'Arzhanto, even Fedor Tiutchev died as soon as Repin began to paint his portrait. Many perfectly healthy man died after they been posing for famous painting "Barge Haulers on the Volga".
Another Inexplicable fact about Repin's painting influencing political developments in the country. Right after the artist finished his work "The ceremonial meeting of the State Council," in 1903, officials who were painted on the canvas, were killed during the First Russian Revolution of 1905.
Prime Minister Stolypin was shot in Kiev as soon as Repin painted his portrait.
Mystery happened even in the hometown of the painter after he did the painting "A man with an evil eye". It's a portrait of Repin's relative, Ivan Radov, who been known in town as the wizard.
Artist got sick right after he finished the portrait, and he truly believed it was associated with his relative.
Ilya Repin died on September 29, 1930, and was buried at the Penaty. He was 86.