In the early 1900s, Ilya Repin settled down with his life mate Natalia Nordmann, who had Finnish roots, at Kuokkala on the Karelian Isthmus. When borders were closed after the Revolution, Repin stayed on the Finnish side at his dacha, Penaty. He made friends with many Finnish artists and other representatives of cultural life, and the round table at Penaty attracted both Finnish and Russian trendsetters in the arts.
Repin wrote to Eino Leino 1923, "Over twenty years I have worked at my Penaty. I have planted trees, dug wells, leveled off mounds, tilled the land, - - Many were the friends who came to visit, all were well known people. Each nook and corner carries memories. Here we walked around the pond with Tolstoi. On the porch your Gorki read to V.V. Stasov. Our happiness was at Penaty..."
The book contains articles which - from different starting points - create more extensive surveys of close-ups of Ilya Repin's personal history and art. The whole enriches our understanding of Ilya Repin's life and activities especially during his last years in Finland, and presents hereto unpublished photographic material on the years at Kuokkala.
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