Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV Painting after Ilya Repin
Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV of the Ottoman Empire, also known as Cossacks of Saporog Are Drafting a Manifesto.
Late 19th Century.
Monumental oil on canvas, set within an original carved giltwood frame. Unsigned.
Measures: Canvas: 62 X 105in (157 X 266cm).
Frame: 80 X 123in (204 X 312cm).
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This painting is after Russian artist Ilya Repin. The Original 2.03 m (6.66 ft) by 3.58 m (11.74 ft) canvas was started in 1880 and finished in 1891. Repin recorded the years of work along the lower edge of the canvas. Alexander III bought the painting for 35,000 rubles, at the time the greatest sum ever paid for a Russian painting. Since then, the canvas has been exhibited in the State Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg. Vladimir Gilyarovsky, a popular journalist, was one of the models who posed for Repin.
Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks depicts a supposedly historical tableau, set in 1676 and based on the legend of Cossacks sending a reply to an ultimatum of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed IV.
The painting exhibits the Cossacks’ pleasure at striving to come up with ever more base vulgarities. During Repin’s time, the Cossacks enjoyed great popular sympathy.
While working on the original version, Repin in 1889 began work on a second version. This work he never finished. The second version of “The Cossacks” the artist tried to make more “historically authentic”. In 1932 it was presented by the Tretyakov Gallery to the Kharkiv Historical Museum. In 1935, it was moved to the Kharkiv Art Museum, where it is now stored.
H 80 in. x W 123 in. x D 5 in.
H 203.2 cm x W 312.42 cm x D 12.7 cm
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