Restoration and research of Ilya Repin’s painting “Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan on November 16, 1581” in State Tretyakov Gallery

Khalturin, Yulian Alexandrovich
Head of Advanced Researches Department, PhD History of Arts, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

Dyakonova, Yulia Borisovna
Senior Research Fellow, Division of Comprehensive Research, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia


This paper describes the research of iconic painting by Ilya Repin “Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan on November 16, 1581” from the collection of State Tretyakov gallery, damaged in a vandal attack on May 25th 2018. The painting had a complicated story since its creation including the fact that in 1913 it was cut by a vandal’s knife. Extended technical study took place right after the accident and aimed at the evaluation of the painting condition and artistic materials. This research was carried out by museum laboratory and included the use of panoramic X-Ray scanning, UV-Vis-IR photography, polarized light microscopy, micro-XRF, and FTIR and Ra-man spectroscopy.
Some studies were conducted in collaboration with Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Federal Research Center for Chemical Physics and Federal Research Centre “Fundamentals of Biotechnology” of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Keywords: advanced researches of painting, technical studies in museum, X-radiography, artistic materials, spectroscopy methods