All in a single portrait it depicts elegance, aristocracy, simplicity, and fashion. Like in many of his portraits, Ilya has stayed true to his style of realism in the portrait of baroness Varvara Ikskul Von Hildenbandt. Varvara Ikskul is in an exaggeratedly long red headdress and a matching blouse that clings close to her skin displaying her slender waist. Her black skirt foams to her ankles She is endowed in gold and silver chains and rings. Ilya Repin expertly paints the thin veil covering half her face yet allowing us to see the whole of her face. Despite the simplicity of her attire, one can tell that it is very expensive. From the portrait, one can tell that she is very fashion-conscious.
The background in the portrait of baroness Varvara Ikskul von Hildenbandt is plain while the colors used on the baroness are vivid to enable the viewer to focus on the baroness. The skillful combination of red and black implies a joyful mood on Varvara's part though she is not even smiling. Ilya Repin also made a pencil drawing of Varvara Ikskul her head propped against a pillow in 1989. In this drawing only from her waist upward are visible and the only view we have of her face is sideways. Unlike the portrait of baroness Varvara Ikskul Von Hildenbandt, in this pencil drawing, she has no headdress.
Ilya Repin also painted the portrait of Princess M.K Tenisheva. Like in the portrait of Varvara Ikskul Von Hildenbandt, the background is also plain. He focuses his brush on the princess and her appearance. She is dressed in a faded blue dress with a touch of gold. This portrait like the portrait of the baroness Varvara Iksul Von Hildenbandt carries a touch of elegance and loyalty. Similarly, he sticks to his style of realism.
Among key persons who influenced Ilya Repin's style of realism were, Alexander Ivanov, Diego Velazquez, Frans Hals, and Edouard Manet. Frans Hals, for example, painted the banquet of the officers of the St George militia company, a group portrait. Ilya Repin also trained several artists who included Boris Kustodiev, Igor Grabar, Anna Ostroumova and Valentin Serov. Valentin Serov is mostly known for portraits and perhaps his most notable portrait was Girl With Peaches. In summary, the portrait of baroness Varvara Ikskul Von Hildenbandt comes at a time where observation was being preferred to creativity. Ilya has thoroughly employed this style.