Preparation for the exam - Ilya Efimovich Repin. 38 x 44.8 cm
The presented picture is one of the very first works of the artist. It is impossible not to notice that the picture is imbued with the spirit of students, being an honest story about the preparation of young people for the exam. And, of course, this is not what teachers want to see, but what is quite familiar and causes a smile among students.
The picture is undergoing “active” preparation for the exam - one young man is sleeping on the bed, holding a book to his chest, as a nap caught him while reading. The other, putting his sketch on the window, sends kisses to the young lady opposite.
The composition of the picture is a cross in the center of which is in love. He creates dynamics, being an example of a romantic hero. But this hero is some kind of very touching and frivolous - it is not for nothing that Repin dressed him in a cap with a playful whisk. Everything in the setting says that the scene is a student dormitory: a table, a bookshelf, modest furniture.
It seems that everything is stopping the boys from preparing for the tests - the beauty in the window opposite, good sunny weather, not to mention frivolous age.
It is believed that the picture depicts real personalities: Alexander and Alexey Shevtsov, brothers of Vera, the future wife of the artist.
Despite the playful character, the picture can be safely attributed to the first serious work of the young Repin, as evidenced by a thoughtful compositional construction, realistic technique, a harmonious color palette, as well as inner life and solid content, which distinguish ordinary work from a masterpiece.
The plot itself of this social painting was very close to the painter. At this time, Repin, with the assistance of F.I. Pryanishnikov, was accepted as a free listener to the Academy of Arts, and he knew all the student's everyday life firsthand.