Posted by: Patrick Allen Foster | October 29, 2013

Tuesday Art Blogging: Leo Tolstoy

Ilya Efimovich Repin (1844-1930) - Portrait of Leo Tolstoy (1887)

Ilya Repin, Portrait of Leo Tolstoy, 1887.

Two weeks ago, I had a post looking at the early color photography of the Russian photographer Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky. Prokudin-Gorsky’s most famous photograph is almost undoubtedly his 1908 portrait photograph of Tolstoy, shown below.

L.N.Tolstoy Prokudin-Gorsky

Compare Prokudin-Gorsky’s photograph to Ilya Repin’s painting (shown at the top of this post), made 21 years earlier.

It is also instructive to compare Tolstoy’s 1908 portrait with the photograph of him below, from 1848, when he was 20.

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy 1848

(This photograph, of course, has also served as my Gravatar for the past year or so.)

As Mike Schilling put it, “He’d already grown the well-known beard, but the rest of his face had frightened it away.”

Leo Tolstoy by Nesterov

Mikhail Nesterov, Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy on the shore of a pond at Yasnaya Polyana, 1907.

Source for all images: Wikimedia Commons.


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