This doesn't point only to the professor, but a depiction to the academia. Ilya Resin’s love for personalities made this piece of art gain momentum on its own.
Professor Ivanov's Portrait
The real identity of Professor Ivanov is not clear. However, he must have been someone well known by Ilya. The painting shows a man leaned back, his left hand resting on his cheek. This portrays a man immersed deeply in thoughts. For someone to assume that posture means that he is troubled and whatever he is thinking must be weighty. He has a beard and his mode of dressing is synonymous to medieval aristocrats. The painting was done in 1882 on a canvas measuring 58.5 centimetres high and 48.5 centimetres wide. Ilya used oil for this painting which is known for its durability. A realist as he was, Ilya sort to create a serious impression in the painting which follows academics throughout their research endeavours.
From the time of publication, the painting has been at the Finnish National Gallery of Art exhibition. This explains why Ilya is an icon in Finland's art space. Most of his works were done here, and when the time came to go back to Russia, he chose to stay. Other portraits painted during the same time include that of Composer Modest Musorgsky, Woman (E.D. Botkina), Young Wife sitting on a Couch (all done in 1881), Ada Girl, A. P. Bogolyubuv, Tatiana Rechinskay and Actress Pelagey Strepetova (all done in 1882).
Ilya Repin and Art
Besides his impressive paintings of portraits, Ilya also did other forms of artwork. He painted occurrences, objects and appearances as they were. They included The Street in Tiflis (1881), Seamstress, Railway guard, Hotkovo (both in 1882), Boots of the Prince and Female figure in a landscape (both in 1883).
Ilya learnt his primary painting skills from Ivan Bunakov and was later enrolled at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. Here, he met Ivan Kramskoi with whom they developed a fond artistic bond. In his illustrious career, he painted over 540 artworks, majority of which are in Finland and Russia. He is the first Russian to be recognised by the European Art Society, thanks to his Russian themes. This earned him a title, Leader of Critical Realism.