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The painter Ilya Repin was known as a great music lover. He subtly felt the harmony of sounds, admired the musicians, made close friendships with them.
Anton Rubinstein was among the companions of the Russian artist from musical circles. And Repin could not otherwise express his recognition of the talent of this pianist and conductor, except to write his portrait.
I.E. Repin created as many as three canvases with a portrait of Rubinstein. The first two were written during the life of the great composer, and the last - the most significant according to the author and fans of his work - after the death of the musician.
Examining the masterpiece “Portrait of Rubinstein” at the Samara Art Museum, we understand how much work was done by the author. Indeed, tireless work has been ongoing on the canvas for six years since 1909.
Perhaps Repin's past portraits seemed not enough workshops. Or the painter was overcome with nostalgia for the concerts of a good friend who had passed away. In any case, the result of creative zeal deserves the highest praise.
The portrait of the famous conductor is made in bright, pathetic colors and contrasts. He is depicted standing on the conducting balcony, the floor of which is solemnly red, and the columns of the fence glow with a golden tint.
A hall completely filled with people serves as a blurred background for the central figure of the composer. A mature man, swiftly and swiftly, waved the conductor's pointer. His gaze is serious and hard, immersed in sounding music.
The orchestra itself is not visible, and music cannot be heard from the picture. But the virtuoso portrait painter Repin managed by artistic means to make the picture "play". One feels the whirlwind of the gala concert, its sublime atmosphere. Thanks to light, airy strokes taken from the impressionists, the picture sings and shimmers, it sounds eternal music.
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