In 1901, the famous painter Ilya Repin accepted a large state order to paint the painting “Solemn meeting of the State Council on May 7, 1901”. This work was dedicated to the centenary of the founding of the State Council. After two years of work, a huge canvas 400 × 877 cm in size was ready.
During the period of work on this picture, the author first applied a photographic film, which was able to reproduce a huge picture in one pictorial plane.
To paint a picture, Repin needed to carry out complex painstaking work. To create such a large composition, 81 studies were written for each participant in the action. And only by depicting each member of the Council separately Repin was able to start writing the picture as a whole. It should be noted that not all work was carried out by Repin alone. Some sketches belong to the brush of the best students of Repin: B. M. Kustodiev and I. S. Kulikov.
This work is not only a work of art, but also serves as a historical document reflecting the full composition of the Council for the period 1901, as well as the order in which these meetings were held.
Repin very well managed to convey the solemn and important atmosphere of the process, where representatives of the royal family and representatives of the nobility, led by Alexander I, decided the fate of the vast Russian Empire.
The Council meeting was held in the Round Hall of the Mariinsky Palace. Despite the scale of the work, the author drew well not only the figures and faces of the council members, but also the elements of the decor of the hall. Ancient Greek columns and portraits of previous emperors are drawn quite well. Obviously, Repin wanted to draw special attention of the audience to the ceremonial decoration of the royal halls.
The color scheme of the picture is presented in the traditional shades of the nobility: red, gold, black and blue.
Today, the painting “Meeting of the State Council” is located in the exhibition hall of the State Russian Museum.
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