Ilya Efimovich Repin - “hardworking mediocrity“? To birthday of the artist of“The evil the little man“ - so nicknamed the artist the critic, the publicist, the poet - the satirist and the playwright, and in fact - the inconsiderate cynic Burenin V. P., before secular society in those days. And this nickname to Repin stuck - long time contemporaries thus characterized this great and strange, allegedly superficial, unstable in beliefs and in views of the person.
Much knowing it nearly unanimously was claimed that he always lived feelings, but not mind. Said that if his mind at least was half equal to his genius in painting, then to this person to be among great wise men. But obvious overweight of talent in art over mind - here, in the general opinion, the main line of Ilya Efimovich.
The Russian artist, the historian of art, the art critic, the founder and the main ideologist of the association “World of Art“ Alexander Nikolaevich Benois pripechatat at all: “Repin is a bad thinker. This is the person who is quite depending on mood of minute, on the last impression. In it, we will put, its deeply art nature urged to reflect everything that is created around it best of all affects. But, unfortunately, Repin was at such moment when what was created, it was possible to transfer in words rather, than in images. Repin - the child of society and time which rejected external culture, therefore, and plastic art“.
Sounds as a sentence … Such feeling that all were at that time does not know the concept “creative search“, and only one essence “was clear I believe firmly“ for which it is necessary to battle all life. Also are not clear “facts“ at all that they lead to the proof about frivolity and superficiality of the artist.
Yes, he was very much a peculiar person. And could not be another (it was born, perhaps). Of course, inconstancy, for example, caused it many efforts in its family life. But he honestly admitted that it is bored by attachments and the long relations. Considered that it is enough year, two years - are already a lot of. Repin was sincerely afflicted with a gap with Vera Alekseevna Repina, was conscious of guilt, was ashamed vessels of companions and especially - truthful Tretyakov`s condemnations.
Yes, it was such - including itself(himself) free for the new love relations, was not inclined to provide freedom for the wife. And new love attachments alternated almost annually, differing in an extreme variety. As a rule, it were women of the world whose portrait he painted. Sometimes the novel happened, but most often business was made light. There were also rigid repulses from women, and serious sufferings on both sides.
Ilya Repin was never afraid to be plain neither with the brother - the artist, nor grandees and bureaucrats, magnates of the capital. It was identical with all. It was natural. It what is. And all its essence was shown in his pictures, sketches, etudes, sketches … in letters. In letters he spoke from himself personally.
So, for example, when the Moscow artists signed the appeal after Dostoyevsky`s death made by Victor Vasnetsov for publication in newspapers Repin out of association, signed it, but right there considered it necessary to tell the opinion about it to Kramsky:
“I admit to you frankly, I not absolutely agree with sense of this our letter. Dostoyevsky - great talent, the art, deep thinker, hot soul, but it is the torn person broken who was frightened of courage of vital questions human and addressed back. (To what to study at such person? To that an ideal - the monastery? From them bo there will be a rescue of the Russian land). And knowledge human an essence a product of a devil also generates skeptical Ivanov Karamazov, merzeyshy Rakitiny yes gomunkuloobrazny Smerdyakov. What a difference the people trusting. For example Alyosha Karam (elements) and even Dmitry, despite all the disgrace, unruliness, uses full sympathy of the author, as well as Grushenka. And then... these eternal rough pricks to Poles? Et (and) hatred to the West? Mockery over Catholicism and glorification of Orthodoxy? Popovsky karaniye of atheism and general demoralization, indissoluble allegedly with it.?) “.
A what indignation was caused in the artist by the notorious Decree on “kukharkiny children“, 1887
“Yes, a magnificent bell in the world is silent; he is spoiled by falling and cannot call. (I imagine, as if he began to roar!) And the most numerous Russian people are silent; he received a slap in the face as in serf years was, and is silent. It is officially declared that our drivers, cooks, cooks - the mean people, and on their children lie already a damnation pariyev. And all people for which the driver and so forth already high-educated people, all these numerous and strongest people are silent. And it is spoiled by falling, and it fell several times from height of free thoughts on which it was raised more than once by leaders. It cracked and weakened. Foul, false nakhalnik, like Katkov and Pobedonostsev, try to cover cracks and to assure in his health, invincibility... As to Turkey probably; how uncontrollably our authorities conduct us on the Turkish path?!“.
Hot and quick-tempered, I. Repin was easily given to the first impression, pronouncing a severe sentence or lavishing unfairly praises on the left and to the right. But soon, having looked narrowly and having pondered, recognized also quickly a share of exaggeration or underestimation in responses and immediately corrected incidents. So, having made right judgments of art life of Paris, assessed publicly positively creativity of impressionists to whom did not pay attention in the beginning. Much later, having seen works of the Polish followers of impressionism, fell upon them by all the power of indignation - to imitators of another it is not given.
Korney Chukovsky remembers as far as Repin was capable to admire a time mediocrity, forgiving them all completeness of illiteracy, owing to obsession of the internal contradictions.
“In general such immoderation of gestures and words was style of his behavior. It was worth looking at it near some minor writer, the musician, the actor to understand to what degree thirst excessively was big at it to admire people: “It is the ingenious singer“, “It is ingenious nature“. It seems, there was no day in his life when it would not consider someone from the people around as the genius“, - Chukovsky notices.
Let Repin preferred to see in people only abilities and talent, reached only for talented people and the word “lack of talent“ was in its understanding a terrible curse, but he was extremely self-critical.
“My picture still costs at me on an easel, and I as eternally unsatisfied mediocrity, I adjust the old jade of Rossinant after of blood trotters“, - so wrote Repin about myself. “The hardworking mediocrity which much did mistakes“ - too his words about.
But best of all it is perceived: “I cannot be engaged in direct creativity, do the carpets caressing an eye of the pictures... All the insignificant puny strength I seek to personify my ideas in the truth; surrounding life too concerns me, haunts, itself asks on a canvas“.