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“Morning in a Pine Forest” by Ivan Shishkin and Konstantin Savitsky

"Morning in a Pine Forest" by Ivan Shishkin and Konstantin Savitsky

“Morning in a Pine Forest” by Ivan Shishkin and Konstantin Savitsky

“Morning in a Pine Forest” by Ivan Shishkin and Konstantin Savitsky depicts a coniferous forest, composed of evergreen trees with a mother bear and three cub bears.

The pine and spruce trees emphasize the eternity of the natural world. The large dominant trees create the impression that the viewer is inside an impassable hidden thicket, where the bear family feels comfortable playing on a broken pine tree.

Ivan Shishkin has painted some of the most beautiful landscapes in Russian art. His works are notable for the poetic depiction of seasons in the woods, wild nature, animals, and birds.

It is believed that Shishkin painted the pine trees near Narva-Jõesuu in Estonia, where he often enjoyed spending his summers. Shishkin sought to identify and capture the sustainable values ​​of the landscape.

A few years after this painting, he was appointed professor-director of the landscape class in the Academy’s Advanced Art School.

Konstantin Savitsky is a co-artist having painted the bears in this famous painting. At the original Peredvizhniki exhibition, the painting was shown by both artists Ivan Shishkin and Konstantin Savitsky.

It was assumed that Savitsky had painted the bears and Shishkin the forest, but later the scholars found that both Savitsky and Shishkin made preparational drawings of the pine forest.

Later, Savitsky withdrew his signature from the painting. Savitsky reported that he had to put his signature on the canvas, but then he removed it, thereby giving up copyright.

Another account states that the art collector Pavel Tretyakov effaced Savitsky’s signature, stating that “from idea until the performance, everything discloses the painting manner and creative method peculiar just to Shishkin,” so the painting is now credited solely to Shishkin.

This painting of the hidden world of nature has become very popular, and according to one poll, is the second most popular in Russia behind “Bogatyrs” by Viktor Vasnetsov.

Ivan Shishkin

Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin (1832 – 1898) was a Russian landscape painter closely associated with the Peredvizhniki movement.

Peredvizhniki, often called The Wanderers, were a group of Russian realist artists who formed an artists’ cooperative in protest of academic restrictions. It evolved into the Society for Travelling Art Exhibitions in 1870.

Konstantin Savitsky

Konstantin Apollonovich Savitsky (1844 – 1905) was a Russian realist painter born in the city of Taganrog.

After graduation from the Imperial Academy of Arts, he dedicated more than 20 years to teaching arts in the art schools of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Penza.

In 1897, Savitsky became a member of the Imperial Academy of Arts.

Morning in a Pine Forest

  • Title:                                Morning in a Pine Forest
  • Russian:                           Утро в сосновом лесу
  • Artist:                              Ivan Shishkin and Konstantin Savitsky
  • Created:                          1886
  • Medium:                         Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:                    Height: 139 cm (54.7″); Width: 213 cm (83.8″)
  • Museum:                         Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Ivan Shishkin

  • Name:                                Ivan Shishkin
  • Russian:                             Ива́н Ива́нович Ши́шки
  • Born:                                 1832 – Yelabuga, Vyatka Governorate, Russian Empire
  • Died:                                 1898 (aged 66) – St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
  • Nationality:                       Russian
  • Movement:                       Realism, Peredvizhniki
  • Notable work:

Konstantin Savitsky

  • Name:                            Konstantin Savitsky
  • Russian:                         Константи́н Аполло́нович Сави́цкий
  • Born:                             1844 – Taganrog
  • Died:                             1905 (aged 60) – Penza
  • Nationality:                   Russian
  • Movement:                   Realism
  • Notable work:

Highlights of the Tretyakov Gallery

A Virtual Tour of the Pushkin Museum

A Virtual Tour of the State Russian Museum

A Virtual Tour the Hermitage Museum


“Don’t have 100 rubles, have 100 friends.”
– Russian Sayings


Photo Credit 1) Ivan Shishkin / Public domain

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