by Cynthia Shut
On the day of the winter solstice, the sun travels its shortest route via the sky, marking our darkest working day. This yr, it transpires on Tuesday, December 21st. A perfect visible metaphor for this instant of stasis among darkness and mild is the majestic, isolated, snow-laden, moonlit pine featured in the 1891 oil painting In the Wild North by Russian artist Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin (1832-1898). It stands in silence like an iconic specter, symbolically at the edge when time shifts, and times yet again start off to lengthen.
Given that Siberia, a mainly frozen northern area dominated by sprawling pine forests called taigas, occupies 3-quarters of Russia’s land spot, it is not astonishing that Russian artists excel at painting snow scenes and pine trees in winter season landscapes. Shishkin skilled at the Moscow University of Portray, Sculpture, and Architecture for 4 decades and also examined art in Germany and Switzerland. His ability as a draftsman was identified early on and his capacity to depict mother nature with in-depth depth presents his operate a poetic top quality bordering on magic realism. He became an influential portray professor in Saint Petersburg and exhibited his operate internationally at Entire world Fairs in Paris and Vienna. Trees, like the lone pine In the Wild North, most frequently perform central roles as subject matter make a difference in a Shishkin painting.