Sunday, March 27, 2016

Repin's Easter Procession

Ilya Repin's Religious Procession in Kursk Province shows an Easter procession of Bright Week, a tradition of the Eastern Orthodox church. 

Repin --Study for Religious Procession

Controversial in its day, the painting documents the range of Russian social strata moving together toward their common destiny while cruelly maintaining their differences.

According to David Jackson
"At the right, burly peasants carry a platform holding the icon inside an elaborate neoclassical case; only gleams of light reflecting off the gold riza icon cover can be made out. Lines of peasants joining hands hold back the crowd, the foremost at the left trying to stop the crippled boy breaking through the cordon with his stick. Alongside ride peasant or priest stewards and officials and police in uniform, some of the latter beating back the crowd with their riding crops. Behind the icon follow priests and better-dressed people, carrying icons in front of their chest, and an "effete, dandified and bored priest" in vestments carefully straightens his hair." 


Eugene Arenhaus said...

Ah, yes, this one. There are few paintings in world art history which present such scathing social commentary in such a superficially innocuous package.

There is a Google Art version out there, which allows seeing every face, from the drunken merchants, angry teacher and painfully fake priest, to the dull puffed-up landowners, cruel gendarme officer and stoic vagrants. Worth looking at.

Patricia Wafer said...

Great post for an Easter Sunday. I don't think things have changed all that much since then. The peasants here are still starved or incarcerated while the well do do preen and congratulate themselves on their blessings. I have been watching and studying "Gouache in the Wild" and it has been very informative and helpful. It is full of great instruction. I bought a new lighter weight tripod and will be out there soon looking for a nice swamp to paint. I went a little nuts and have been working (outdoors) with a new 11x14 Strathmore 500 series hardbound sketchbook. The paper takes gouache and water very well. I like to tape the margins for a nice crisp border so a 2 page spread is 21x13 and very nerve wracking to paint but also much fun. I will try some much smaller formats also. Great video!!!! Happy Easter!

Tom Hart said...

Oh, to paint a finish anything like a Repin study! :^) (Happy Easter James and All!)

Steve said...

Thanks to Eugene for the Google Art Project tip. As he says, it's worth looking at. So many short stories -- vignettes -- spread across the scene. Over and over, the eyes are remarkably expressive. In one amazing passage a horse-mounted officer -- his eyes bulging with anger -- brings back his arm to use his riding crop. His sharply-reined horse rolls an eye back to see where the lash will land. The victim raises an arm to protect himself, his eyes rolled in panic. A horse-mounted onlooker watches with heavy-lidded boredom. A range of emotions conveyed with incredible economy.

Would love to see this painting in person. Thanks for bringing it to us.

Rich said...

In my view this is a perfect Illustration as well as a great painting to be exhibited in any art museum.
Perhaps, as there was no "assignment" for it, therefore it isn't an "Illustration" ;o)

That crippled girl desperately trying to reach the altar is kind of a centerpiece, contrasting with another centerpiece: the peacockish bloated priest.

"But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid..."

Maybe Repin hints at / illustrates this in a satirical way: the whole schizo-sanctimony...