Ivan Shishkin is characterized by attention to every detail, the absolute truthfulness of the depicted. Shishkin scrupulously painted every blade of grass or leaf on impressive-sized canvases, preserving the beauty of his native land for posterity. And, although at the time of his work, the fashion for realism began to give way to a new trend, impressionism, Shishkin remained true to himself and his gift as a painter.
Biography of Ivan Shishkin
With his father, Ivan Vasilyevich, Ivan developed warm, friendly relations. He was an intelligent, well-read man, keenly interested in various fields of science – archeology, history, technology.
From childhood, Ivan Shishkin liked to draw. The father took this occupation calmly, but the mother, Daria Alexandrovna, called drawing “paper staining” and dreamed of a different fate for her child – to become an official. When Ivan was 12, his mother sent him to study at the First Kazan Gymnasium, but after 4 years he fled home, categorically refusing to continue his studies.
Apollon Mokritsky, then already a well-known portrait painter, became Ivan’s first teacher. A strong friendship was established between them, which remained after many years. Apollo saw talent in the young artist, he prophesied fame and a successful career for him. It was during this period that Ivan decided on the artistic direction and, of course, these were landscapes.
Career and first successful paintings
In 1857 he went to study further – at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. In his memoirs, the master wrote that he did not like St. Petersburg, seemed cold and unfriendly. Even then, Shishkin thought about returning to his native Yelabuga.
In 1861, Ivan Shishkin went to Munich, from where his journey through Europe began. He lived in Munich and Zurich, painted animals and nature, met interesting people and discovered new art forms. So, in Zurich, he met a Swiss artist, Professor Rudolf Koller, and under his guidance he learned to engrave with acid.
last years of life
In 1866, Shishkin returned to Russia, where he began to paint his native expanses with pleasure, and was an active participant in the progressive partnership of the Wanderers. Immediately he met his future wife Eugenia. They got married in 1868, but a happy family life was not long – four years later, in 1872, his father died, followed by his little son Vladimir. Just a few months later, the artist Fyodor Vasiliev, brother of Evgenia and good friend of Shishkin, died. And a year later, his wife Eugene and son Konstantin died.
Shishkin left only his daughter Lilia. The second wife, Olga Ladoga, also died just two years after the wedding. Shishkin spent the rest of his life in Yelabuga, depicting pine forests and fields so dear to his heart in his paintings. Right there, at work, he died – on March 20, 1898, the artist’s heart stopped. He was found sitting with a brush in front of an easel.
Ivan Shishkin is undoubtedly one of the most significant landscape painters for Russia. His works reveal to the world the magnificence of Russian nature, the boundlessness of fields and the greatness of impenetrable forests.