10_ Mast Pine Forest in Viatka Province by Ivan Shishkin_

Mast Pine Forest in Viatka ProvinceIvan Shishkin, 1888

Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin (1832-1898) was a Russian landscape painter who studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, before going on to win a gold medal at Saint Petersburg Imperial Academy of the Arts. He worked for some time in Switzerland and Germany on a scholarship from the Academy, after which he returned to Saint Petersburg. He was an excellent draughtsman, painter and printmaker, becoming famed for his analytical studies of nature and his atmospheric forest landscapes. He is admired for the poetic way he depicted nature’s seasons in woodland, together with the wildlife of the forest. The planet Shishkin, which was discovered in 1978 by the Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Zhuravlyova, is named after him.


Ivan Shishkin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Wrap Up Your Painting

  • When looking at the background of the painting, what did you notice?
  • What three or four words did you use to describe the atmosphere of the painting?
  • When you imagined yourself into the painting what did your fingertips touch?
  • How did you feel about being in the painting?
  • Has your opinion of the painting altered in any way after doing this guided noticing exercise?
  • How do you feel now you’ve completed this activity? If you enjoyed it, why not add more Look at Paintings audio guides to your week? And don’t forget, you can take these guides with you to your local gallery and try them whilst standing in front of ‘real life’ art