Ilya E. Repin Estate-Museum “Penaty”

411 Primorskoye shosse
Repino, 29 miles NW of St. Petersburg

The celebrated Russian artist Ilya Repin (1844-1930)  lived in his home in Repino for about 30 years until his death in 1930 at the age of 86.  The extraordinary house with its steeply pitched glass roof and angled windows was restored after damage in World War 11 and is now open as a museum.

Named Penaty in honor of the Roman household gods, penates, the house was redesigned by Repin himself to accommodate all that an artist might need, including a glass-panelled veranda downstairs, which was used as a winter studio.

When he came to live in the house in 1903,  he was  a professor of the Russian Academy of Arts and a world renowned artist.

In Penaty, Repin created  a few big canvases on historical topics,  pictures on contemporary  life,  his series of paintings on biblical themes and many portraits. On display in the first floor studio are the artist’s brushes and a number of his works, including an unfinished portrait of A. Pushkin.

Works by the artist adorn the dining room, including portraits of the singer Fyodor Chalyapin and writer Maxim Gorki, who were among his close friends. Penalty was a kind of Mecca for many noted figures of Russian culture and world celebrities such as V. Stasov, I. Ghinzburg, A. Kuprin, I. Bunin, Yu. Annenkov, V. Rosanov, etc. It was frequently visited by Kornei Chukovski, who published a book about Repin’s life in Penaty and introduced to Repin some of his Futurist friends V. Mayakovski, D. Burlyuk. V. Khlebnikov, Sasha Chorni and I.Puni. Well-known  Russian  scientists  stayed at the house as guests.

A revolving dining table enabled guests to serve themselves and to store away their used dishes, since there were no servants. In the garden, two small wooden follies are hidden  among the trees, and Repin’s grave is marked by a simple cross on the top of the hill.

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