Ilya Repin in his ateljee in Kuokkala.

Left: Gorki, Stasov, Repin and Natalia Nordman in Kuokkala 1904.

Repin and his daughter Vera in winter 1914-15.

Diningroom in Penaty.
ElämäkertaRepin ja SuomiPenaty-huvilaSeminaarit

Palaa takaisin museoiden pääsivulle


Elämäkerta suomeksi


Childhood and Early Years

1844 Ilya Jefimovitš Repin is born on July 24 into the family of military colonist Jefim Vasiljevitš Repin in Chuhuyev, Ukraine, government of Harkova.

1854 Repin is admitted to study at the Military Topography School of Chuhuyev.

1857 Becomes student of local icon and portrait painter Ivan Bunakov.

1859-1863 Paints icons and decorates churches.

1863 Travels to St Petersburg and enters drawing school run by the Art Association.

1864 In January, Repin is admitted as a temporary student in the Art Academy. Gets to know teacher Ivan Kramskoi, who has great influence on young Repin's outlook on life and development as artist. In September, Repin is approved as authorized student of the Art Academy.

1865 Participates for the first time in Art Academy's Annual Exhibition.

1869 Starts collecting material for"Barge Haulers on the Volga".

1871 Paints "Raising of Jairuse's Daughter".


Active Years as Artist; Family and Career

1872 In February, marries Vera Ševtsova. Daughter Vera is born in October.

1873 "Barge Haulers on the Volga" is completed. Repin and his family travel abroad backed by Art Academy's stipend. Destinations include Vienna, Rome, Naples and Paris.

1874 Second daughter Nadešda is born.

1876 In July, Repin returns with family back to Russia. "Sadko" is completed. In October, moves with family to Chuhuyev for one year. Repin is bestowed with the title of Academician for "Sadko".

1877 Son Juri is born. In September, Repin and his family move to Moscow.

1878 Repin makes first sketches for "The Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mahmoud IV".

1880 Travels to Ukraine to collect additional material for "Zaporozhian". Youngest daughter Tatjana is born.

1881-1885 Works in St Petersburg and in Moscow. "Religious Procession in Gubernia" and "Tsar Ivan the Terrible Killing His Son Ivan on November 16 1581" are completed.

1886 Spends summer months with family in Terijoki.

1888 Travels with son Juri to Ukraine to collect more material for "Zaporozhian".

1891 Paintings" Zaporozhian" and" Procession of the Cross in an Oak Wood" are put on public display for the first time.

1892 Buys the Zdravnevo farm near Vitebsk by the River Väinä with the money gained for "Zaporozhian" and spends summer on the farm painting portraits of his daughters Nadešda and Vera.

1893 Travels with Juri to Europe and returns in May of the following year.


Years as Teacher and Artist, Moving to Kuokkala

1894 Spends summer in Zdravnevo. In September, Repin starts as head the University of Art, functioning under the authority of the Art Academy.

1896 In May, Repin travels to Moscow to attend the Coronation of Nicholas II and paints two compositions for the Coronation Album.

1898 Repin is appointed rector of University of Art functioning under the authority of the Art Academy. In summer, Repin travels to Palestine in order to visit the holy places.

1899 In May, Repin purchases, in the name of Natalia Nordman, a villa from Kuokkala, Terijoki. The villa is named Penaty - the home gods. Repin paints more and more often with left hand because of pain in his right hand.

1900 Travels together with Natalia Nordman to the Paris World Fair both as exhibitor and member of the Jury for Painting.

1901 The Russian Government commissions Repin to paint a large group portrait"Ceremonial Meeting of the State Council on May 7 1901". Repin works on the painting with his students for two and half years.

1903 "What a Freedom!" is put on display. In July, Repin moves permanently to Kuokkala.

1904 Wednesday is settled as"official" visiting day in Penaty, other days are reserved for work. "Go away, Satan" is put on display.

1905 In August, Repin travels with Natalia Nordman to Italy where he paints one of his best portraits of Natalia. Repin applies for retirement from his position as teacher in the Art Academy.

1906 Repin starts building an atelier to his villa in Kuokkala.


Last Years, Focusing on Art and Penaty

1907 Repin gives up his teaching position in the Art Academy. Visits Crime to collect material for "Black Sea Cossacks". Begins writing childhood memoirs.

1911 Begins writing memoirs about Leo Tolstoy. Travels to Rome with Natalia Nordman.

1914 Repin is appointed honorary member of the Artists' Association of Finland. In June, Natalia Nordman dies in Switzerland of tuberculosis. Repin returns to Kuokkala. World War begins.

1916 Begins collecting memoirs into a book "Far Away, Close Up".

1917 Repin is forced to paint with his left hand. In November, he visits his home country for the last time before the border is closed.

1918 In April, Finland's border is closed; Repin stays in Kuokkala with his daughters.

1919 Donates his own and other Russian artists' works to the Artists' Association of Finland. Repin is awarded with the Medal of the White Rose of Finland.

1920 Repin is invited as honorary member of the Artists' Association of Finland. Paints Gallen-Kallela's portrait and starts work on "Prominent Finnish Men".

1922 Daughter Vera moves from St. Petersburg to Kuokkala to be with his father.

1924 Aged painter celebrates his 80th anniversary.

1926-1929 Master's strength begins to decline and his right hand is rendered useless. Repin paints his last great painting "Gopak".

1930 On 29 September, Repin dies surrounded by his family at the age of 86. He is buried in the park of the Villa Penaty, on the so called Mountain Chuhuyev.