1844, Chuguyev (Kharkiv Province) - 1930, Kuokkala (Finland)

In Volost Office


  • oil on canvas. 47,5 x 80
  • Ж-4060

  • Пост. из собрания Н. Д. Ермакова

The peak of Repin’s creative work occurred in the end of 1870-s – 1880-s and coincides with the development of democratic tendencies in the Russian painting art. During this period the artist created the majority of his best historical paintings, portrait, depictions of everyday life of common people and revolutionary struggles. In this painting the artist develops the philippic tendencies introduced by V.G. Perov by giving his characters a grotesque feeling and at the same time depicting their bright nature and the events of everyday life in his own individual manner. A volost clerk was an influential person in a Russian village, a link between common peasants and state authorities. Volost clerks collected and submitted information for reports, memos, summaries, and reformation projects. Volost clerks were paid a salary “from people’s charges”, and sometimes the sum of such payments reached the level of remuneration payable to noble statesmen. This shows the importance of a volost clerk’s position. Keen observation skills, active use of poses and gestures to give emotional characteristics, masterful creation of psychological atmosphere – all these typical features of I.E. Repin’s style can be observed in this painting.

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