Thursday, December 30, 2010

FOREST LANDSCAPES




Ivan Shishkin, by Ivan Kramskoy, 1880
From articlesandtexticles.co.uk

Ivan Shishkin
From mighty-whity.blogspot.com
Ivan Shishkin (1832-1898) was a Russian landscape painter closely associated with the Peredvizhniki movement. Shishkin was born in the town of Elabuga of Vyatka Governorate (today Republic of Tatarstan), and graduated from the Kazan gymnasium. He then studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture for 4 years, then attended the Saint Petersburg Imperial Academy of Arts from 1856 to 1860, graduating with the highest honors and a gold medal. He received the Imperial scholarship for his further studies in Europe. Five years later Shishkin became a member of the Imperial Academy in St. Petersburg and was professor of painting from 1873 to 1898. At the same time, Shishkin headed the landscape painting class at the Higher Art School in St. Petersburg. For some time, Shishkin lived and worked in Switzerland and Germany on scholarship from the St. Petersburg Imperial Academy of Arts. On his return to Saint Petersburg, he became a member of the Circle of the Itinerants and of the Society of Russian Watercolorists. He also took part in exhibitions at the Academy of Arts.
(fineart-china.com)


View of Valaam Island, Kukko
Oil on canvas, 1859
The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
From cozy-corner.com


Having received a Major Gold Medal for two pictures with the same name View of Valaam Island, Kukko (1860) and an Academy grant for studies abroad, Shishkin spent 3 years (1862-1865) in Germany, Switzerland, Czech, France, Belgium and Holland. Gradually he got disappointed in his foreign teachers and European authorities in landscape painting. Now he felt free and independent and longed to return home, to Russia.


The Itinerants
From articlesandtexticles.co.uk


Ivan Shishkin was a member of The Itinerants, also known as The Society for Circulating Art Exhibitions. The society was active between 1870 to about 1923. It’s difficult today to discern exactly what the aims of the original group were, because so much of Russia’s history has been hijacked and rewritten since those days.
(articlesandtexticles.co.uk)


Pine Forest in Viatka Province
Oil on canvas, 1872
The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia
From cozy-corner.com


The Rye field
Oil on canvas, 1878
From blog.designsquish.com


A sandy coastline
Oil on canvas, 1879
Collection: French and Company, New York
From nga.gov.au

A sandy coastline
From visualrian.com
Russian painters invented a new, heroic art of landscape in the second half of the nineteenth century. Ivan Shishkin demonstrates some of its elements in A sandy coastline: the painting holds an implied moral narrative with nationalist overtones. A few giant but slender pines inhabit the shoreline, their roots gripping into uncertain soil. Waves lap up the beach, unceasing tides which will eventually undermine the trees. Darkest sky lurks behind them, threatening an impending storm and, perhaps, oncoming night. Other trees still stand upon firmer ground in the grass, although many have been felled, hauled away for timber. Bright, intense light glares onto the sand and off the silhouetted trunks. This is nature’s drama, which twists the largest tree away from the viewer, while it withstands the continuous assault of wind and water.
He was a founding member of the famous artists’ group the Wanderers, who began to depict the vastness of Russia’s lands in the 1870s. These reformist painters rejected the artificiality of contemporary pictorial themes, instead commenting on contemporary social ills while developing the first Russian interest in their own surroundings, looking at the bleak beauty of their plains, steppes and mountains.
In 1879 Shishkin travelled in the Crimea from May to September, so that he could ‘make plein-air studies in accordance with his fascination for working outdoors’. A sandy coastline was exhibited in the 7th Wanderers’ exhibition in St Petersburg in 1879, the year it was painted.
Forests became Shishkin’s major subject. His compositions are based on direct observation instead of that compilation of elements that underpins Classical and Picturesque landscapes. His works are also marked by extraordinary attention to detail, seen here in such elements as a tangle of debris washed up on the sand. He combined such realistic renderings with larger poetic truths. A sandy coastline sets up many qualities for us to ponder: light and dark, sunshine and shadows, strength and fragility, enduring time and a fleeting moment.
(Christine Dixon at nga.gov.au)


Stream by a forest
Oil on canvas, 1880
Museum of Russian Art, Kiev, Ukraine
From allartclassic.com


Path in a Forest
Oil on canvas, 1880
The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
From cozy-corner.com


Polesye, 1884
From commons.wikimedia.org


Gathering Storm
Oil on canvas, 1884
The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
From abcgallery.com


Morning in the Pine tree Forest
Oil on canvas, 1886
Tetryakov Gallery, Russia
From cozy-corner.com


Oaks
Oil on canvas, 1887
The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
From cozy-corner.com


Oaks, Evening-Study, 1887
From articlesandtexticles.co.uk


Mixed Forest
Oil on canvas, 1888
From commons.wikimedia.org


Winter
Oil on canvas, 1890
From commons.wikimedia.org


Coniferous Forest, Sunny Day
Oil on canvas, 1895
The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
From cozy-corner.com


During his stay abroad Shishkin engaged in lithography and etching. His numerous pen drawings caught the eye of the Düsseldorf public and critics by their virtuoso hatching and filigree treatment of detail. In 1865, Shishkin painted his View near Düsseldorf for which he was awarded the title of Academician and which was shown at the 1867 World Fair in Paris.
In 1865, he returned to Russia and settled in St. Petersburg, where he joined the Itinerants’ Society of Traveling Exhibitions (Peredvizhniki). One of his first masterpieces Noon in the Neighbourhood of Moscow (1869) critics called “song of joy”. He always preferred to draw daytime scenes, full of sunlight and life. Pine Forest in Viatka Province (1872), Rye (1878), Path in a Forest (1880), Oaks (1887), Coniferous Forest, Sunny Day (1895). His scrupulous reproduction of nature stood in sharp contrast to the academic canons of landscape painting. For his loving approach to detail some critics called his works colored pictures, which lack of life. But despite such attention to details Shishkin’s paintings do not fall apart, but give full and finished impression.
(Bibliography: Shishkin by I. Shuvalova. Russian Painters of the XIX century. Moscow. 1990)
Among the Russian landscape painters Shishkin was the staunchest and most consistent exponent of the materialistic aesthetics – to depict nature in all its pure, unadorned beauty. His role in Russian art did not lose its significance even in the years, which saw the appearance of splendid landscapes by Isaac Levitan, Valentin Serov and Constantin Korovin. Despite the fact that he espoused different aesthetic principles and advocated a different artistic system, Shishkin enjoyed an indisputable authority among young Russian painters of the late 19th century. The new generation did not fail to acknowledge him as a thoughtful and masterful portrayer of Russian nature.
(Bibliography: Shishkin by I. Shuvalova. Russian Painters of the XIX century. Moscow. 1990)
A highly esteemed master of Russian realist landscape painting, Shishkin's creative method was based on exhaustive, analytical studies and on a kind of "portraiture" of nature that exposed its most typical features. Distinguished for his forest landscapes, Shishkin is known not only as a painter but also as an outstanding draftsman and printmaker.
(artsstudio.com)


The Mast Tree Grove
Oil on canvas, 1898
The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
From articlesandtexticles.co.uk


Shishkin had a troubled private life, twice he fell in love and married and twice his wives died. His sons also died. But never Shishkin allowed his sorrows appear on his canvases. His last work is Mast-Tree Grove. He died in his studio at the easel with newly begun canvas.
(Bibliography: Shishkin by I. Shuvalova. Russian Painters of the XIX century. Moscow. 1990)


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