Pictorial portraits of the nation: Ilya Repin's "Own" and "Others"

Гальчук, Оксана Василівна (2022) Pictorial portraits of the nation: Ilya Repin's "Own" and "Others" Вісник Маріупольського державного університету. Серія Філологія (26-27). pp. 46-55. ISSN 2415-3168, 2226-3055

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Abstract

The article examines the problem of representing the collective portrait of the nation in the language of painting. The relevance of such a study is determined by the need for identification, which is especially acute in war conditions: the distinction between "own" and "foreign" is a necessary condition for national self-identity and the unity of the human community as a nation. Ilya Repin's painting work was chosen as the object of analysis. The goal is to determine the typological features of the collective portrait of the nation based on Repin's canvases. Achieving the set goal is realized in the following tasks: outline in dotted lines how the tradition of the collective portrait of the nation was formed; consider pictorial versions of Repin's portrait of the nation; compare the portraits of "own" and "other" ("alien") nations. The novelty of the study is determined by the proposed view of Repin's masterpieces as symbolic portraits of the Ukrainian and Russian nations, created according to the principle of contrast. For the first time, features characteristic of the author's interpretation of the image of the nation were considered in the context of the formation of this tradition in painting. The article uses the historical-cultural and comparative methods of research, the method of commented reading of the pictorial "text". It is determined that the genre of the portrait of the nation began to form in the era of romanticism. Its authors sought to reproduce events, exterior, and interior with national marking. Emphasis was placed on them as "typical", or "characteristic" of a certain nation or country. We consider Repin's paintings "Zaporozhians writing a letter to the Turkish Sultan" and "Hopak" as pictorial portraits of the Ukrainian nation. They have in common an idealized romantic past. Events and phenomena associated with the concepts of "heroic" and "spiritual" are reproduced. The depicted characters are archetypes but endowed with individual traits that form a mosaic national portrait. We compare "Zaporozhians writing a letter to the Turkish Sultan" with the portrait of France in E. Delacroix's painting "Freedom on the Barricades." Common to both paintings is the concept of freedom, which must be chosen. At the same time, Repin complements the idea of freedom with a trait typical of the Ukrainian character. We are talking about laughter as a manifestation of inner freedom. Therefore, the artist offers a kind of formula according to which only those who are free inside can win freedom. Instead, Repin's national portrait of the "stranger" is represented in the paintings "Burlaks on the Volga" and "Crusade in the Kursk Province." Their modern plots are interpreted realistically. In the center are depicted events or phenomena associated with the struggle for survival, silent obedience, and external and internal slavery. The characters are emphatically unaesthetic, merging into a "faceless" portrait of the scumbag. Thus, the pictorial portraits of Ukraine and Russia in Repin's work are directly opposite in terms of their ideological content and stylistic content. For the artist, a collective portrait of Ukrainians is also an attempt to declare one's own identity in the conditions of an inferiority complex imposed by the empire.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ilya Repin; the concept of "freedom"; pictorial collective portrait of the nation; self-image; hetero-image; author's interpretation.
Subjects: Статті у наукометричних базах > Erih Plus
Статті у наукометричних базах > Index Copernicus
Статті у журналах > Фахові (входять до переліку фахових, затверджений МОН)
Divisions: Факультет української філології, культури і мистецтва > Кафедра світової літератури
Depositing User: професор Оксана Гальчук
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2023 09:07
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2023 09:07
URI: https://elibrary.kubg.edu.ua/id/eprint/44051

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