Russian tales

A great little exhibition has opened at the National Portrait Gallery of paintings from the Tretyakov gallery in Moscow.

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Many are by Ilya Repin, whose portrait of the German pianist Sophie Necker is above, but I also liked this one of Tolstoy by Nikolai Ge.

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Seeing it in real life there’s a shaft of afternoon sunlight that crosses Tolstoy’s desk and conjures up the heat of a stuffy summer day.

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