Goutweed, Pargolovo

Artist: Ivan Shishkin
Date: 1884 (1885?)
Media: Oil on canvas mounted on cardboard
Dimensions: 35 x 58.5 cm
Ownership: Russian Museum, St Petersburg
Style: Realism
Goutweed, Pargolovo


Ivan Shishkin’s principle was no approximation in the representation of nature. This particular study demonstrates his ability to depict life with almost photographic precision, revealing the beauty of the everyday and the seemingly unremarkable.

The artist placed great importance on a close study of nature. Ivan Kramskoi wrote about his attention to detail and confident style: “When he stands before nature... he is exactly in his element. He is audacious, artful and does not hesitate.”

Depicting a small corner of nature, Shishkin creates a minor masterpiece. This study was painted in the village of Pargolovo to the north of St Petersburg – a popular place of relaxation for many Russian artists and writers in the 1880s.

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