Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16th, 1581, Ilya Repin (1885) Painting Poster

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Please note, we also sell a framed version of this poster here on RUS & SOV.

About the Painting

Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16th, 1581 (Russian: Иван Грозный и сын его Иван 16 ноября 1581) is a stunning and monstrous 1885 painting by Ilya Repin.

Ivan "the Terrible" (1530-1584) is a historical figure few haven't heard of. Famous for many things, good and bad, he is well known for the terrible act you can see in this painting - that of killing his own son. Tsar Ivan isn't actually known as "the Terrible" in Russian. Rather, his royal nickname is "the stormy" (Russian: Иван Грозный). Quick to anger, he presumably was undergoing a fit of overwhelming rage when he struck his son and accidentally killed him.

The moment of insight and awareness of his deed is what appears before the viewer in this tragic picture. The tsar is in a panic. Before us is not an all-powerful autocratic ruler. Instead, we see but an old man, distraught with grief and horror. Firmly grasping the dead body of his son, he frantically tries to close the wound on his temple, from which scarlet blood is still running. He's desperately trying to fix the irreparable.

Compositionally, the Repin's picture is composed in such a way that at first attention is drawn to a dead body, a second ago full of strength, energy, life. After that, the viewer sees the mad eyes of the killer father. The formidable tsar's bony hands and corpse-yellow speak of a dead spiritual essence. Meanwhile, the son's face bears a tranquil expression as if it was out of an icon painting. It's almost like the two figures have changed places: dead Ivan the son and still alive Ivan the father.

Original Painting

Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16th, 1581, Ilya Repin (1885) Painting

Poster Quality

Museum-quality posters made on thick and durable matte paper. Add a wonderful accent to your room and office with these posters that are sure to brighten any environment.

Please note, all poster sizes are in inches (1 inch = 2.54 cm). 

• Paper thickness: 10.3 mil
• Paper weight: 5.57 oz/y² (189 g/m²)
• Giclée printing quality
• Opacity: 94%


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