Born: Kursk, 1932
Repin, Nikolai, an acclaimed artist of Contemporary Realism, was born the ninth child in 1932 in the Kursk region of the USSR. His family moved to Kuban when he was only two years old. His grandfather, Ilya Repin, played an important role in forming Nikolai's personality and nurturing his talents. He often stayed with the little boy telling him fairy tales and drawing heroes into the sand. The Repins lived on the territory occupied by the Germans during both World War I and II. These difficult times helped to clarify the acute tragedy of the siege of Leningrad and laid the foundation for his later works in the style known as Soviet Realism. Nikolai also grew to know well the life of the peasant and has incorporated these themes in his work.
When Nikolai began to show interest in drawing, Feodor G. Petukhov, the drawing teacher in school, began giving him lessons. Upon graduating, Nikolai was accepted at the Pedagogical College of Graphics and Art. With the honors college certificate bestowed on him, Nikolay entered the recently opened studio of Andrey Milnikov at the Mukhina Institute. He then continued his education at the creative studio of The USSR Academy of Arts.
It is often said that still-life is the research laboratory of the painter. The rich palette is determined by the object being painted and includes color, form, silhouette and principles of composition design. "Landscape is my Motherland..." quotes Nikolai Repin, and his works of the severe and sublime views of Murmansk, the ancient buildings in Old Ladoga bear testimony to this. Another of his favorite themes is the best-known Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin, whose personality and talent still resonates throughout Russian culture and art. Nikolai Repin is not only an accomplished artist, but also a teacher of future artists. It is difficult to say whether this had occurred to him when he met his first teacher, Feodor Petukhov. But Professor Repin has been teaching drawing in the studios of Boris Ugarov and Victor Reikhet, and presently, as Honored Art Worker of Russia, works with Valery Pimenov.