Dragonfly - Painter's Daughter Portrait Ilya Repin Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Despite various works in the genre plan, Ilya Repin regularly painted portraits just for the soul. Showing members of his family, particularly her daughter Vera Repina, this drawing stands out among the others. Repin created this canvas in 1884 in Penaty near St. Petersburg and named it Dragonfly - Painter's Daughter Portrait.

The artist's portraits of kids' is characterised by his appreciation of kid’s images similar to that of impressionists. As a norm, children are known to have fun and frolic, so Ilya Repin regularly has to be a witness to his delightful girl sitting on the crossbar, and shaking her beautiful legs like a dragonfly on a twig. At some point, he even decided to portray the childish mischief on the painting. The final canvas turned out to be funny. At the centre of the art, you will see a girl seated naturally on a wooden crossbar wearing a hat. The girl’s silhouette brightens the warm sunshine giving cheerfulness to the colour, shadow to the plot and play of light.

The drawing gives the impression of a lively scene witnessed accidentally by the master. Behind the girl, you will see a transparent blue sky with worn meadow’s blades of grass and light misty clouds painted with a thin brush. The sun also reflexes on the girl’s dress, and it seems to try to melt the dress in the infinite sun-diffused space. The girl's free lively pose, her hat, which is perfectly tied under her chin with an elegant black ribbon, the rays of sun playing on her neck and face, her entire passionate appearance seem to draw viewers into a fantasy world of childish dreams and impressions. In fact, Ilya Repin created a remarkable portrait of a childhood full of admiration and delight provoked by the beauty of life.

At the bottom of the portrait, Ilya Repin opts for lonely blades of grass that do not clearly appear against the background of the airy area that slightly hides the horizon line. In this drawing, the artist perfectly reflects the excitement and immediacy in the child’s character, which discreetly takes the viewer to the heavenly world of childhood. Perhaps, Ilya Repin allowed himself a break from the daunting comprehensive works when creating this unique portrait. He just fantasised at life among his family and especially kids. As Ilya Repin famously said, the girl under the sun should be named Dragonfly. As we can see, the girl perfectly matches this name both in terms of movement, pose, and colour.