Description of the painting by Ivan Shishkin “Forest Landscape”

In the second half of the 19th century, Russian painting flourished thanks to the work of a galaxy of brilliant wanderers. Like in no other country, the famous Russian landscape painters - Savrasov, Polenov, Levitan, Aivazovsky, Shishkin make a particularly valuable contribution to the development of fine art.

With all its relative neutrality, the landscape genre, thanks to great talent and tireless work with nature, made Shishkin a truly legendary painter. According to Ivan Ivanovich himself, Russia is a country of landscapes. Her special national sensuality and attraction to the epic traditions of folklore caused Shishkin popular recognition and a worthy place in the world of fine art.

Shishkin’s landscapes are distinguished by incredible realism and integrity of the image, special subtlety and fullness of the light-air mass, incredibly reverent and aesthetic attitude to detail. Shishkin puts color on the background, considering it unacceptable to artificially elevate the natural charm and poetry of the plot.

The painting Forest Landscape, created in 1890, is one of the artist's later works. It recreated the theme of the mighty pine forest, traditionally loved by Shishkin, on a sunny summer day. In the foreground is a small pond, a tree felled somewhere in the beginning of summer, because dried leaves, a bush of a swamp flower have not fallen from it yet. A little further visible is a bridge over a stream of two sawn trees and a wide path running down the slope of a small hill. This inseparability of nature from man is also a characteristic feature of Shishkin’s landscapes, with which he tried to emphasize the importance of a person’s constant contact with the environment that gave birth and nourishes him, their need for each other.

People are not visible in the picture, but their presence is clearly felt in everything. It is seen how mushroom pickers go with baskets across the bridge, peasants return from a neighboring village, children run to the far bend of the stream to swim. And now I involuntarily want to breathe in this warmed pine air and the smell of forest flowers and sit under a tree on warm grass, leaning my back against a clumsy resinous trunk.

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