Ivan Shishkin (1832-1898)
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF YARDEN AND LOTTE FRAGMAN
Ivan Shishkin (1832-1898)

Forest flowers

Details
Ivan Shishkin (1832-1898)
Forest flowers
signed with Cyrillic initials and dated ‘I. Sh./95.’ (lower right); with Russian title and studio stamp (on the reverse)
oil on canvas laid down on board
15 x 11 ¼ in. (38 x 28.5 cm.)
Painted in 1895
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Weschler’s, Washington D.C., 13 March 1993, lot 35.
Collection of Yarden (1922-2001) and Lotte (1924-2017) Fragman, Tel Aviv, Israel. 
By descent to the present owners.
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

Brought to you by

Aleksandra Babenko
Aleksandra Babenko

Lot Essay

Realistic, uncontrived and unmistakeably Russian, Forest flowers bears the hallmarks of Shishkin's finest landscapes. The viewpoint, obstructed in part by an asymmetrical clutch of trunks skirted with a scattered cloud of cow parsley, cleverly inserts the viewer into the heart of the forest, far from the well-trodden path.  The composition is deceptively simple, the modest components of leaf, branch and frond seem commonplace, almost mundane. However, it is precisely these botanically-correct elements that drive the composition, for Shishkin’s triumph is that he creates a noble, evocative and soulful natural landscape.
This ‘Tsar of the Forest’ or ‘Forest Bogatyr-Artist’ as he later became known, was born in Yelabuga, Tatarstan, in 1931. Having studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture between 1852-1856, Shishkin enrolled at the St Petersburg Imperial Academy of Arts where he graduated with a gold medal in 1860. Awarded an Imperial Scholarship, Shishkin painted in Dusseldorf, Geneva, Zurich and Munich for the next three years. On his return to St Petersburg, he joined a group of like-minded artists who founded the Peredvizhniki. In 1865 he became an Academician and in 1873, a Professor.
Shishkin’s method of working was largely based on meticulous observation and the use of analytical sketches, which enabled him to build his own pictorial lexicon of landscape. His compositions are skilfully constructed, the artful placement of a light-dappled clearing or a gnarled branch effectively create the illusion that the viewer is enveloped in pristine forest.  By the 1890s when Forest flowers was painted, Shishkin’s technique displayed a freer brush; he had moved away from the more exacting characteristics of his early work and effortlessly captured the essence of Russian landscape for his generation and those thereafter.

More from Russian Art

View All
View All