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Painting, 1876, 322×230 cm

Description of the artwork «Sadko»

The Painting "Sadko" Repin painted in Paris. Received a gold medal of Academy of arts for the painting "The resurrection of Jairus's daughter" Repin has got the right for pensioner's (that is paid for by the Academy) a trip to Europe. The image of Sadko written Victor Vasnetsov later became famous in particular as the author of fabulous stories (and portray his "Sadko").

The theme of the painting was Novgorod epics of the guslar Sadko, which is rich with sea king. His merchant ships were frozen in the middle of the sea to propitiate the sea Lord, Sadko has descended to the bottom. The painting depicts the moment when he, by order of the marine king chooses a wife in the underwater Kingdom. Before him are the luxurious beauty, but derived from Mikola Mozhaisky (later called Saint Nicholas), the Board, Sadko choose the simple Russian girl her sister, which is visible in the depths of the painting.

To create a magical space of the underwater Kingdom, Ilya Repin visited the marine aquarium Berlin, admire the marine flora and fauna in Normandy, visited the Crystal Palace in London. The seabed, according to legend, he wrote in the Paris aquarium. Bizarre algae, amazing fish, clams, starfish creates a fabulous atmosphere. Passing in front of Sadko chain beauties illuminated, they seem to be underwater treasures for which ought to descend to the seabed. In the hands Sadko – a psaltery, his gaze directed into the distance, where sideways is Chernavka and also looks at it. There, in the depths of space, visible goldfish – it is in the epic brought him good luck.

One of the interpretations of paintings – sailing in front of him, the girls represent different countries and artistic movements, but the soul is a simple Russian girl. This transcript suggested itself Repin, talking about the choice Sadko: "The idea expresses my current situation and maybe the situation just yet of Russian art". It is appropriate to recall that in 1874 in Paris hosted the first impressionist exhibition, and then visited her. He was fascinated by technology, but in the sense of new found for "empty". However, this is not all clear – not taking "pure art" as such, Repin from time to time tried to follow his tenets, blaming journalistic critical realism.

For the first time the public saw "Sadko" at the Paris salon of 1876. Its appearance passed unnoticed in France, but in Russia for this work Repin was awarded the title of academician. The painting immediately became the Grand Duke Alexander (future Emperor Alexander III). Meanwhile, the artist himself was on the picture of the low opinion, considering it to be tasteless and vulgar. However, Repin was really hard on yourself and admitted that seeing his paintings at exhibitions and in museums, feels "hopelessly miserable" because his own incompetent creations.

Author: Alain Esaulova
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Literary scene

Style of art: Realism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1876

Size: 322×230 cm

Artwork in selections: 123 selections