Artist: Ilia Efimovich Repin (Russian, Chuguev 1844–1930 Kuokkala)
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 35 x 27 1/4 in. (88.9 x 69.2 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Humanities Fund Inc., 1972
Accession Number: 1972.145.2
Russian author Vsevolod Garshin specialized in short stories expressing his pacifist beliefs, love of beauty, and aversion to evil. In the early 1880s he became friends with Repin, a leading progressive painter who shared his concern for contemporary political and social problems. This portrait is one of several that Repin made of Russian artists and intellectuals following his return from study in France, as he sought a more national tenor in his work. Four years after it was created, Garshin, scarred by the suicides of his father and brother and his own mental illness, threw himself down a stairwell and died.