Vsevolod Mikhailovich Garshin. Letter to V. M. Larkin. August 10, 1884 [see Ref. Grabar 1937, p. 274], mentions that Repin is about to finish a portrait of him.
Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov. Letter to Repin. March 27, 1888 [published in M. N. Grigor'eva and A. N. Shchekotova, eds., "Pis'ma Repina. Perepiska s P. M. Tret'iakovym, 1873–1898," Moscow and Leningrad, 1946, p. 132, letter 169], in the context of negotiations for the purchase of a painting by the artist, names this work as one of three that Repin had sold inexpensively to a rival collector, Tereschenko.
Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov. Letter to Repin. November 24, 1889 [published in M. N. Grigor'eva and A. N. Shchekotova, eds., "Pis'ma Repina. Perepiska s P. M. Tret'iakovym, 1873–1898," Moscow and Leningrad, 1946, p. 140, letter 182], in the context of negotiations for the purchase of a painting by the artist, mentions that the artist had sold this work for 500 rubles.
S[ergei]. N[ikolaevich]. Durylin. Repin i Garshin: Iz istorii russkoi zhivopisi i literatury. Moscow, 1926, pp. 55–56.
Sergei Ernst. Ilia Efimovich Repin, 1844–1930. Leningrad [St. Petersburg], 1927, p. 82, no. 1713, lists it in the exhibition of Russian portraits at the Taurida Palace in 1905.
Igor Grabar. Repin. Moscow, 1937, vol. 1, p. 274 n. 2, vol. 2, pp. 46–47, 236–37 n. 87, pp. 273, 303, ill. between pp. 32–33, refers to a letter of August 10, 1884 in which Garshin states that Repin is about to finish a portrait of him [Ref. Garshin 1884]; comments that this portrait required many sittings; notes that it was listed in the collection of Tereschenko in the 15th Peredvizhniki exhibition [Exh. St. Petersburg 1887]; describes the mutual admiration between sitter and artist and mentions that Repin painted another portrait of Garshin as a study for "Ivan the Terrible and His Son" (1885; State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow).
Igor Grabar. Repin. Moscow, 1948, vol. 1, pp. 13–14, 70, 174, 182, 216, notes that a well-known portrait of Garshin, formerly in the collection of B. I. Khanenko, Kiev, was brought in some unknown way to Paris.
Ilia Efimovich Repin. Dalekoe Blizkoe [The Distant Near]. Moscow, 1953, pp. 369–72, 501 n. 1, states that he wanted to paint Garshin's portrait from the time they first met; recalls that Garshin often read aloud between poses when sitting for this picture.
D. Sarabyanov. Ilya Repin. Moscow, , p. 41, mentions it among Repin's portraits that embody "the tragedy through which the progressive Russian intelligentsia was living during the grim years of tsarist reaction"; gives its location as unknown.
John E. Bowlt. "A Russian Luminist School? Arkhip Kuindzhi's Red Sunset on the Dnepr." Metropolitan Museum Journal 10 (1975), p. 120, fig. 2, as "Portrait of Vsevolod Garshin"; observes that "despite the energetic brushwork and the intense expression of the eyes, the value of Repin's work is now primarily historical rather than artistic".
Alison Hilton. Letter to Bob Simon. March 8, 1978, calls this picture virtually identical in pose to another Repin portrait of Garshin, illustrated as an etched frontispiece in an 1884 edition of Garshin's writings.
Alison Hilton. "The Revolutionary Theme in Russian Realism." Art and Architecture in the Service of Politics. Cambridge, Mass., 1978, p. 121.
Elizabeth Kridl Valkenier. "Repin's Search for the Revolutionary's Image in 'They Did Not Expect Him'." Gazette des beaux-arts 91 (May–June 1978), p. 209.
John Bowlt. "The Peculiar History of 'Forest Fire': Where There's Smoke..." Art News 78 (December 1979), ill. p. 119.
Fan Parker and Stephen Jan Parker. Russia on Canvas: Ilya Repin. University Park, Pa., 1980, p. 86.
John E. Bowlt. "Recent Publications on Modern Russian Art." Art Bulletin 64 (September 1982), p. 489.
O[lga]. Lyaskovskaya. Ilya Repin: His Life and His Work. Moscow, 1982, ill. p. 260, as "Portrait of V. M. Garshin".
Peter Henry. A Hamlet of His Time: Vsevolod Garshin, the Man, His Works, and His Milieu. Oxford, 1983, ill. on cover.
Maria Karpenko et al. in Ilya Repin: Painting, Graphic Arts. Leningrad [St. Petersburg], 1985, p. 263, under no. 140.
Elizabeth Kridl Valkenier. Ilya Repin and the World of Russian Art. New York, 1990, pp. 111, 216 n. 20.
Elizabeth Kridl Valkenier. "The Writer as Artist's Model: Repin's Portrait of Garshin." Metropolitan Museum Journal 28 (1993), pp. 207–16, ill., states that this picture was executed over several sittings in the summer of 1884, while Repin was also working on "They Did Not Expect Him" and "Ivan the Terrible and His Son" (both State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow); argues that "it is redolent with meaningful references to the problems the Russian intelligentsia faced" following the 1881 assassination of Alexander II by revolutionaries; cites August 1884 letters by Garshin and Repin reporting their satisfaction with this portrait and quotes the artist's appraisal of the sittings as "a welcome 'rest' from other taxing work"; notes that initial reviews of this painting during its first public showing [Exh. St. Petersburg 1887] criticized its depiction of Garshin's unstable state of mind; notes that in 1885, after Tretyakov purchased "They Did Not Expect Him," he asked Repin to repaint the exile's face and suggested using Garshin as a model, "no doubt having in mind the calm and penetrating gaze of the [MMA] portrait".
I. A. V. Bruk in Ilia Efimovich Repin, 1844–1930: In Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of His Birth. Exh. cat., State Tretyakov Gallery. Moscow, 1994, pp. 148, 293, no. 175, ill., describes "the special beauty of his eyes, filled with a serious shyness, often dimmed with a mysterious tear".
David Jackson. "Garshin and Repin. Writer and Artist in a Creative Relationship." Vsevolod Garshin at the Turn of the Century: An International Symposium in Three Volumes. Oxford, 1999, vol. 2, p. 103.
Vsevolod Garshin at the Turn of the Century: An International Symposium in Three Volumes. Oxford, 2000, vol. 1, ill. frontispiece (color).
Sjeng Scheijen in Henk van Os and Sjeng Scheijen. Ilya Repin: Russia's Secret. Exh. cat., Groninger Museum, Groningen. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 2001, p. 31.
Robert Rosenblum in RUSSIA! Nine Hundred Years of Masterpieces and Master Collections [catalogue for "RUSSIA!"]. Exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. New York, 2005, p. 166, colorpl. 113, discusses it among late 19th century Russian portraits which provide a "sense of intruding into a closed, personal realm".
Galina Tschurak in Ilja Repin und seine Malerfreunde: Russland vor der Revolution. Exh. cat., Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal. Wuppertal, 2005, p. 19.
David Jackson. The Russian Vision: The Art of Ilya Repin. Schoten, Belgium, 2006, p. 183.
Rebecca A. Rabinow in Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 161, 210, 300, no. 150, ill. (overall and detail).