Repin and Ljuba


Sadko in the Underwater Kingdom (1876).

This painting by Russian artist Ilya Yefimovich Repin (1844–1930) is included in one of my Symbolist art books despite its pre-dating the Symbolist period and there being little else in the artist’s career which might suit the label. It’s a curious picture, however, illustrating a medieval folk tale and depicting the moment when the Sadko of the title is forced by the Sea Tsar to choose a wife from a line of aquatic maidens. It was art historian Philippe Jullian who had me returning to Repin, and the reminder gives me an excuse to post something by Serbian Surrealist Ljuba (aka Ljuba Popovic) whose colours, fauna and metamorphic female figures are a match for Repin’s sirens. Last time I looked for Ljuba pictures there were few available, a situation which has now been remedied by blogs such as this one.


Lot and Lotus (1972).

Previously on { feuilleton }
The art of Ivan Bilibin, 1876–1942
Magic carpet ride
Short films by Walerian Borowczyk
The art of Ljuba Popovic