Ilya Repin, Vsevolod Mikhailovich Garshin, 1884


The sitter for this painting was the twenty-nine-year-old Russian author Vsevolod Garshin, whose life was scarred by the suicides of his father and brother and his own struggles with mental illness. Garshin published approximately twenty stories, many of which powerfully express his pacifist beliefs, his love of beauty, and his aversion to evil. At the age of thirty-three, he committed suicide by throwing himself down a stairwell.