Lines and Colors art blog

Ivan Shishkin

Ivan Shiskin
Russian painter, etcher and draftsman Ivan-Ivanovitch Shishkin was also a naturalist. He based his stunning landscapes of dense northern forests not only on careful observation, but on a deep understanding of nature and natural forms.

Shishkin studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and then at the St. Petersburg Imperial Academy of Arts where, after travels and studies in Germany, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia, he returned to become a professor. He became a member of The Itinerants, a group of Russian painters who banded together for traveling exhibitions, and the Society of Russian Watercolorists.

Shishkin’s attention to botanical detail earned him the nickname of “the book-keeper of leaves”, but his paintings are anything but cold studies of plant species, they are magnificent excursions across the sweeping fields of the Russian plains and into the dark cathedrals of her forests.

There is a terrific post on Articles and Texticles about Shishkin that goes into more detail than I can here and mentions the ArtsStudio, a team of artists and conservators working in the Art Conservation Department of the State Russian Museum, who paint faithful copies of Russian masterpieces and post photos of their process online, including a copy of the Shishkin painting above, “The Mast Grove” (meaning a grove of pines large and true enough to be used for making ships’ masts).


5 responses to “Ivan Shishkin”

  1. No book available at low price on his work… Too bad 🙁

  2. Hey, Thanks for the mention, Charley!
    I’m putting a back link to you on my blogroll now; It surprises me that I haven’t already done so.
    I’ve been very busy of late, and haven’t had time to add to my series on unknown(ish) painters. There’s a few in the works, but I just need to get past a couple more deadlines first, so as to do them justice….

  3. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case with many Russian painters.

  4. Thanks, Michael.

    lines and colors readers who aren’t familiar with Articles and Texticles, should definitely check it out, particularly his terrific feature on “Mystery Painters”, which is simultaneously fun, informative and eye-opening.

  5. Me he quedado fascinado con los paisajes de este pintor, que yo no conocía, visitando la Russian Gallery que mencionas; aquí también encontré algo de unos de mis paisajistas favoritos: Isaak Levitan. ¿Podrías escribir una nota sobre él? Pienso que sería un descubrimiento para muchos.