Morning in a pine forest

Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin
Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin

Morning in a Pine Forest is a legendary painting by the genius Russian painter Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin.

The awakening mysterious forest, shrouded in the morning haze, seems alive. The contrast between dusk and sunlight is mesmerizing. In the foreground is a felled pine tree with cubs crawling on it. The tops of the mighty trees directed into the sky are cut off: by this the author emphasizes the immensity of nature. When looking at a picture, the viewer feels the pristine peace of the thicket, which exists independently of a person.

By the time of the creation of his main masterpiece, Ivan Shishkin had already fully formed as a landscape painter. He traveled a lot, visited abroad, but no European beauty could compare with his native expanses for him.

Presented at the exhibition in 1888, the work “Fog in a Pine Forest” was a resounding success. The artistic techniques used in it (“dissolving” the trunks in a thick veil, enchanting color transitions) required further elaboration. Both the public and the author himself wanted to continue the experiment.

Morning in a pine forest

The history of the painting

The master saw the reserved forest on Gorodomlya Island (Lake Seliger). At first, he intended to revive the thicket with a genre scene with hares, but then he abandoned this idea: the cute hares somehow did not correspond to the majestic surroundings. Konstantin Apollonovich Savitsky (1844-1905) invited the painter to draw bears. Dangerous, formidable, strong animals, personifying Russia itself, harmoniously fit into the landscape.

Shishkin entrusted the creation of animals to a friend. He himself would have easily coped with the task, because Ivan Ivanovich’s club-footed sketches came out great on sketches, but he wanted to give an opportunity to his fellow brush, who needed money, to earn money. Savitsky received a quarter of the fee – a thousand rubles. Yes, it was not for nothing that the association of Itinerant artists was called the Association!

The painting, originally titled “Bear Family in the Forest”, was signed by both authors. However, the customer, philanthropist Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov, got angry and personally erased Savitsky’s name with turpentine. “Morning in a pine forest”, despite the difficult fate of the bears, won great popular love. A new life for the masterpiece was presented by the Mishka Clubfoot sweets and the Three Bears chocolate.

Today, like many years ago, our children and grandchildren unfold the wrapper of a treat, admiring the teddy bear standing on its hind legs. He peers intently into the fog – like a child who can’t wait to explore the world …

Did you like the article? Share
Russian culture