Oil on canvas
125,5 x 204
State Russian Museum
At the turn of the 1880s and 1890s, Ivan Shishkin turned to a relatively rare subject in his oeuvre — the theme of the winter freezing of nature. The artist set himself the highly complex task of conveying almost imperceptible reflexes in a virtually monochrome painting.
Everything is frozen over and immersed in shadow. A ray of sunshine lights up a glade in the depths of a forest, tinting it a slightly pink colour and making the snow seem even bluer. The only hints of life are evoked by the mighty trunks in the background and the bird sitting on a bough. Shishkin made several versions of this picture and sketched many of the drawings directly in the forest.
Shishkin, Ivan Ivanovich (1832, Yelabuga (Vyatka Gubernia) - 1898, St Petersburg)
Painter, draughtsman, engraver, landscapist. Studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1852-1855) and the Imperial Academy of Arts (1856-1860). Fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts in Germany and Switzerland (1862-1865). Worked in the studio of Rudolf Roller in Zurich (1863), painted studies in the Teutoburg Forest (1864). Lived in Dusseldorf (1864-1865). Founding member of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1870-1898). Professor (1873). Full member of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1893). Head the landscape studio at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1894-1895, 1897). Contributed to the World Exhibitions in Paris (1867, 1878), London (1872) and Vienna (1873). Lived in St Petersburg.