Masterpieces of Russian graphics from the collection of the State Historical Museum in the Tretyakov Gallery
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"Portrait of Peter I" by Mikhail Lomonosov
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Landscapes Shishkin I. I. Russian forest in the paintings of the famous artist.

On January 13 (25), 1832, the future outstanding Russian landscape painter, painter, draftsman and aqua-formatist Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin was born 180 years ago.
Shishkin was born in the small town of Yelabuga, on the banks of the Kama River. The dense coniferous forests surrounding this city and the harsh nature of the Ural region conquered young Shishkin.
Of all the types of painting Shishkin preferred the landscape. “… Nature is always new … and always ready to give an inexhaustible supply of its gifts, what we call life … What could be better than nature …” – he writes in his diary.
Close communication with nature, careful study of it has awakened the desire to capture it as surely as possible in a young explorer of nature. “Only unconditional imitation of nature,” he writes in the student’s album, “can fully satisfy the requirements of the landscape painter, and the most important thing for a landscape painter is a diligent study of nature,” as a result, this picture from nature must be without imagination. ”
Already after only three months after entering the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, Shishkin attracted the attention of professors with his natural landscape drawings. He was anxiously awaiting the first exam at the Academy and he was immensely happy to award him a small silver medal for the painting “View in the vicinity of St. Petersburg” for the competition. According to him, he wanted to express in the picture “loyalty, resemblance, portrait nature of the depicted nature and convey the life of a hot breathing nature.”
By this time, he was already spoken of as a talented and virtuoso draftsman. His pen drawings, executed with the smallest strokes, with filigree details, surprised and amazed the audience both in Russia and abroad. Two such drawings were acquired by the Dusseldorf Museum. The living, sociable, charming, active Shishkin was surrounded by the attention of his comrades. Visiting the famous “Thursdays” of the St. Petersburg Artel of Artists I. Ye. Repin, told about him afterwards: “The voice of the hero I. I. Shishkin was heard louder than anyone: like a green, mighty forest, he hit everyone with his health, good appetite and truthful Russian speech He drew a lot with his pen on these evenings with his excellent drawings. The audience used to gasp behind him when he would begin to bruise and rub his brilliant drawing with his mighty crowbar paws and gnarled callosal fingers from work, and the drawing was like a miracle or magic stvom some of this abuse of the author goes all the elegant and brilliant. ”
Already at the first exhibition of the Wanderers, Shishkin’s famous painting “Pine Forest. Mast Forest in Vyatka Province” appeared. Before the viewer appears the image of a stately, mighty Russian forest. Looking at the picture one gets the impression of deep peace, which is not disturbed by bears near a tree with a hive or a bird flying high in the sky. Pay attention to how beautifully the trunks of the old pines are written: each has “its own character” and “its own face”, but in general it is the impression of a single world of nature, full of inexhaustible vitality. A leisurely detailed story, an abundance of details along with the identification of the typical, characteristic, wholeness of the imprinted image, the simplicity and accessibility of the artistic language – these are the distinguishing features of this picture, as well as the subsequent works of the artist, invariably attracted the attention of viewers at the exhibitions of the Wanderers Association.
In the best paintings of I. Shishkin, created by the late 70s and in the 80s, there is a monumental and epic beginning. The paintings conveyed the solemn beauty and power of the boundless Russian forests. The life-affirming works of Shishkin are consonant with the attitude of the people, connecting the idea of ​​happiness, the contentment of human life with the power and wealth of nature. At one of the artist’s sketches you can see the following inscription: “… Expanse, expanse, land. Rye … Grace. Russian wealth”. A worthy conclusion of Shishkin’s integral and original creative work was the painting of 1898 “The Ship Grove”.
In Shishkin’s “Polesye” painting, contemporaries pointed out that the artist was not able to achieve the perfection that distinguished the artist’s drawings in color. N. I. Murashko noted that he would like to see in the film “Polesie” more light “with its golden play, with its thousand reddish and air-bluish transitions”.

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