For Shishkin, just as for his contemporaries, Russian nature is inseparable
from the idea of Russia, the nation and its fate. In the painting Pine Wood, the artist defines his
main theme – a powerful, majestic Russian forest. The maître creates a theatrical scene, offering
us some kind of show. His selection of the time of the day is also not fortuitous – noon is given
as an image of Russia, full of dormant inner powers. The art critic V.V. Stasov called Shishkin’s
paintings “landscapes for epic heroes.” At the same time the artist strives to achieve maximal
accuracy in his “scientific” approach to figurative art. His friend, the artist I.N.Kramskoi
remarked on this as follows: “The forest is out of the way and the stream is with its iron-rich,
dark yellow water in which the whole bottom is visible, with its scattered stones…” They said of
Shishkin: “He is a thoroughgoing realist, a realist to the marrow of his bones and he profoundly
feels and hotly loves nature…”
On 11 June 2008, at Christie's, London, this painting was sold for
$2.7 million (SALE 7598, LOT 41).
Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin (25 January 1832–20
March 1898) was a Russian landscape painter of the second half of 19th century.
His works are notable for poetic depiction of seasons in the woods,
wild nature, animals and birds.