Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin / Forest with a Stream
Shishkin’s landscape works initially consisted of monumental paintings that aspired to set the rules for a national school of landscape painting. Not until the 1880s did his pictures acquire a more intimate character. He gradually shifted from Romanticism to a more realistic approach. He preferred those of his works in which his chief concern was capturing the interior of forests in the minutest detail and with optical precision to those which expressed the mood of the landscape. His painting Forest with a Stream is certainly one of those. The painting’s surface is divided into several spatial planes, while the main emphasis is on the surface of the water, which becomes the epicentre of light reflections and the focus of the artist’s attention. It employs a whole range of shades, capturing the finest nuances of colour. Shishkin employed a different approach for representing the sky, which was of secondary interest for him; this is related to his quite distinct approach to painting.