The ceremonial meeting of the State Council on May 7, 1901 in honor of the centenary of its establishment - Ilya Efimovich Repin. 400 x 877 cm
Possessing the undoubted authority of an outstanding artist of his era, Ilya Efimovich Repin (1844-1930) in April 1901 received a government order for the execution of a monumental canvas designed to become a “monument” to the 100th anniversary of the foundation State Council.
The talent of the painter was fully manifested in the compositional solution of the multi-figure painting. Having outlined the perspective from several points of view, the master gave a panorama of the hall, where for all the scale of the canvas, none of the participants in the meeting is lost among the others and the faces are quite recognizable.
Observedly observed characteristic gestures of officials talking to each other or attentively listening to the speaker, the general lively atmosphere and the truthfulness of the transfer of the smallest details create a feeling of complicity in what is happening, the audience seems to be included in the meeting process.
The artist first painted sixty portraits of statesmen, and then transferred to a huge canvas. To create a group portrait, Repin attracted students - B. M. Kustodiev (who performed mainly the entire right side of the canvas) and I. S. Kulikov (respectively working on the left). The entire central part is written by Repin himself. He documented a meeting in the round hall of the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Palace, decorated by the end of the 19th century with portraits of former Russian autocrats - Catherine II, Alexander I, Nicholas I, Alexander II and Alexander III. Being admitted to the meetings and performing preparatory sketches and drawings for the work, Repin also used a camera.
Currently, this canvas and the accompanying field studies are allocated a separate hall of the State Russian Museum.