Listening to the music of Modest Mussorgsky this week, the extraordinary portrait of the composer painted just days before his death has never been far from my mind. I decided to look at some more of Ilya Repin’s work and discovered that this remarkable Ukrainian Realist artist, Ilya Repin (1844-1930) was, like his friend Mussorgsky, painting a series of images about ‘Mother Russia’ in all her variety and, often, sorrow. Rightly and unsurprisingly he is honoured as one of the greatest of 19th Century ‘Russian’ artists and his work now has a permanent home in the State Russian Museum, St Petersburg.
My first novel, Stephen Dearsley’s Summer Of Love, is published on 31 October 2013. It is the story of a young fogey living in Brighton in 1967 who has a lot to learn when the flowering hippie counter culture changes him and the world around him.
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