Reading girl - Ilya Efimovich Repin. 74 x 55 cm
According to some reports, it is believed that the portrait depicts the sister-in-law of the artist. This painting fully reflected Repin’s ability to transmit life as it is, without embellishing or belittling its charms.
In the center of the picture is a young girl sitting in an armchair in a voluminous black dress with long sleeves. It is decorated with a simple linen white collar and cuffs, there are no more jewelry and details, except for a barely noticeable large button or brooch on the chest. The girl has magnificent curly long hair of a pleasant golden reddish color. They seem luminous, airy and especially voluminous due to the fact that the light is behind the figure of a seated woman.
The character of the picture sits in an easy chair with a high rounded back and velvet burgundy upholstery. The background of the painting is neutral, made with wide brush strokes of grayish-olive paint. The folds of the dress are written in relief, they are highlighted at the back and side, so that the whole silhouette of the girl seems very dark and uniform, but not flat, but voluminous. This technique makes the face of the person portrayed especially expressive - it stands out against the monotonous background of the wall and seems radiant from the inside, illuminated by the inner energy and beauty of youth.
The girl is reading a letter, the torn envelope from which lies on her lap. This is a large sheet of paper, as if casting light glare on the face. The girl looks at him with a spell, excitement slightly opening her mouth. But the most interesting, as usual, is hidden in the details. It seems as if the letter is sitting in an armchair with both hands. In fact, this is not so - she only supports the paper with her right hand; on the other hand, the letter is handed to her by someone outside the picture. This brings a special hidden intrigue to the calm chamber plot of a work of art.