The artist is Repin
In 1873, Repin as a pensioner Iah went on a foreign business trip to Paris, where he carefully studied the work of the great realists of the past. This period belongs to the picture "Negro".
The work feels the passion for the work of the famous Spanish artist Mariano Fortuni (1838–1874) – one of the most gifted representatives of academic salon art. Repin met the works of Fortun in 1873 in Rome, then two years later at his posthumous exhibition in Paris was delighted with his inherent "inaccessible grace and a sense of forms, coloring and the power of light". The image of a black woman is inspired, possibly, African sketches of Fortun.
Repin creates an expressive, spiritual portrait, interpreted without any deliberate admiration with exotic. The artist managed to identify the noble ratio of muffled colorful tones and achieve the finest color nuances given in a single warm range. He showed real skill in the image of flickering gold jewelry, iridescent fabric, gleaming hookah. His picturesque techniques are very diverse – from smooth writing to relatively wide pasty strokes, which were executed accessories.
In the spring of 1876, Repin showed a picture at the exhibition of the Parisian salon. Sold to an unknown private person, work for almost half a century remained in complete oblivion. Only in 1938 it was acquired by the Russian Museum and included in the permanent exposition.