Job and his Friends 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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Job and his Friends is 1869 painting by Ilya Repin. The painting style is realism, and the genre is religious painting.

The painting media is oil on canvas, and it measures 199 x 133 cm. The original painting is currently located in a Museum in Russia. The painting depicts four men, two who are standing and two seated. Job is the one seated on one side of the road alone while the other three friends are on the other side. This was a great masterpiece produced by Ilya as it shows his artistic skills. He used cool and dark colors in the painting to make it more classic and bring out a strong theme.

The painting depicts a man named Job in the bible who had sores all over his body and had lost all his property including his children as a way of testing his faith in God. The painting depicts Job in a grieving mood with upper part bare as he could not wear clothes because of the sores in his body. His three close friends came to grieve with him. According to the Bible story, the three friends tried to convince him to curse God so that he could die and escape the agony he was going through. The painting depicts one of the friends standing up and looking at Job pathetically and as if trying to convince him to do something.

The artist used the color technique to show the viewer that these were really old time. The use of brown color in the painting helps to show the situation that Job was in and the kind of suffering he was enduring. The artist also used warm colors to paint Job’s friend's clothing’s to show they were in good state and had every reason to convince Job to curse God since they did not believe in God themselves and were doing okay. The artist used black color to paint spots on Job’s body to depict the sores all over his body. Job’s face and hair also depict the agony he was going through as Ilya was careful to paint these areas in such a way that the viewer is able to see the agony in Job’s face. The artist was more careful not to paint the sores on Job’s body very visible not to scare away viewers.

Job is depicted seated down on a piece of cloth with his head lowered and not paying much attention to what his friends were saying. The artist was able to use his artistic skills to depict Job in a situation of great suffering and agony. The painting depicts the three friends in good health and state and therefore they had every reason to convince Job to curse God so that his suffering could be over. A closer look at the painting shows a flock of sheep behind the three friends and while Job has nothing on his side. The artist used such skills to bring out the theme that he wanted the viewer to see in this painting.

Job and his Friends was a well-organized painting with the artist giving each part the necessary details. The artist was able to put a whole story in the Bible that has been given in a full book into a single painting. Ilya Repin proved that a long story can be given in a single painting. An individual, who has information about Job's story, will appreciate Ilya Repin work as a look at this painting makes everything to fall together. The use of warm and colors and mountains in the distance makes the painting attractive while maintaining the main theme in the painting.