Russian Artworks Painting 19th Century Late 19th Century Realism Midday, In the Environs of Moscow

Midday, In the Environs of Moscow

Artist: Ivan Shishkin
Date: 1869
Media: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 111.2 x 80.4 cm
Ownership: Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Style: Realism
Midday, In the Environs of Moscow


In 1864, when studying as a fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts in Düsseldorf, Ivan Shishkin dreamt of depicting the wide Russian plains and golden rye fields. In 1866, he returned home and this dream became a reality. Russian nature became, for him, the “healing space” mentioned in poetry by Nikolai Nekrasov.

After painting Midday, Environs of Moscow, Brattsevo (1869), a picture permeated with a mood of prosperity and tranquillity, the artist reworked and generalised the motif to create his finest canvas of the 1860s. This light and spatially resolved landscape incorporates both the realism and the gentle poetry of rural nature.

The rye field stretching out in both directions and the high sky with its majestic clouds convey the idea of the endless expanses of Russia. The light bend of the river serves as a continuation of the road. The solemn merging of the earth and the radiant sky contributes to an epic image typical of the art of Ivan Shishkin.

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