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Kramskoi Ivan. Portrait of Ivan Shishkin. 1880

Kramskoi Iván,
Oil on canvas
115,5 x 83,5

State Russian Museum


Ivan Kramskoi conveys Ivan Shishkin’s talented nature by the intent gaze of his twinkling eyes, his calm and confident pose and the natural gesture of his hands. Contrasting the neutral light-grey background and dark figure, the artist concentrates on the sitter’s open and contemplative face, surrounded by a thick mane of unruly hair. The distinct and austere composition, the play of light and shade and the expressive silhouette increase the psychological elements, creating the sensation of an integral nature and spiritual power.

Author's Biography

Kramskoi Ivan

Kramskoi, Ivan Nikolaevich
1837, Ostrogozhsk (Voronezh Province) - 1887 St Petersburg
Painter, draughtsman, engraver, portraitist, history painter. Worked as a retoucher with a travelling photographer (1853-57). Studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1857-63). Initiator of the rebellion of the fourteen (1863). Headed the St Petersburg Artel of Artists (1863-70). One of the founders and the ideological head of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1870-87). Academician (1869). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Imperial Academy of Arts, World Exhibition in Paris (1878) and the All-Russian Exhibition in Moscow (1882). Taught at the School of Drawing, Society for the Encouragement of Artists (1863- 69, with interval). Member of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists (1863-69, with intervals).

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