"Negro", so different from the usual form of Repin's letter, was created by him in Paris under the influence of the famous Fortune, whom the author adored.
Repin did not try to imitate his idol, but at the same time, he stretched in his art for the inaccessibility of the sense of forms that Fortuni masterly possessed.
The artist created the portrait, taking care of his model. He saw in her not exoticism, but the beauty of the soul. Such an unusual letter made him more painstakingly select colors and managed to achieve the perfect combination.
In Russia, the picture for a long time remained unknown, until 1939, when it was transferred to the Russian Museum. Critics were in no hurry to be enthusiastic about Repin’s creation; they evaluated the Negro carefully, even cautiously. Many did not at all perceive the work as a picture, calling it an etude.
The author himself praised his creation with enthusiasm. He introduced something new into his work, and the result was amazing.
Repin portrayed Negro as a spiritualized beautiful woman who had nothing to do with European standards, but with a clear sense of dignity and emphasized sophistication.
Love for a simple person, respect for him has always been inherent in Repin's work. They did not change him in the African theme. The artist has been faithful to his principles all his life and deeply appreciated democracy in national art.
Few artists of the past era can be compared with Repin. Only he managed to convey exactly the reality surrounding him, framing it with the fates of people and, at the same time, masterfully wielding a brush.
"Negro" - one of the last successful works of Repin. After 1880, his creative activity began to fade, he continued to work hard, but no longer created masterpieces.
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