Barge Haulers on the Volga and Repin's House

Vladimir Smirnov/TASS
In the summer of 1870, a group of young people, the painter Ilya Repin among them, visited Shiryaevo. It was here that the young painter made the first few sketches for what would eventually become Burlaki na Volge (Barge Haulers on the Volga). Repin could not persuade any of the local people to pose for him, even for the 40 kopecks that he offered to pay – a lot of money at a time when you could buy a horse for a rouble and 50 kopecks! In the end a peasant named Kanin said, “To hell with you. I'll take the 40 kopecks and pose.”

In 1976, Samara Art Museum purchased the house where Repin lived while he was painting the famous Burlaki. The painting itself is in the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, while Repin's memorial house in Shiryaevo (opened in 1990) is home to the sketches he made prior to undertaking the painting itself.