Alley of the Summer Garden

Artist: Ivan Shishkin
Date: 1869
Media: Indian ink and quill on yellow paper
Dimensions: 54.5 x 40.3 cm
Ownership: Russian Museum, St Petersburg
State Purchasing Commission (until 1946)
Style: Realism
Alley of the Summer Garden


Ivan Shishkin had a masterly command of the art of quill drawing and addressed etching and lithography early in his career. The motif of this particular drawing is unique to his oeuvre and virtually the only example of the master addressing urban park nature. The scene depicts an alley in the Summer Garden in St Petersburg.

Besides the usual features underlining the primordiality of nature, Shishkin’s drawing is distinguished for its refined staffage, subtle delineation of the foliage, elegant trees and tremulous patches of sunlight. This work formed the basis for a lithograph drawn in quill on stone – Alley of the Summer Garden (1869).

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