Unknown Ivan Shishkin: what personal drama brought the artist to despair

Ivan Shishkin and one of his most famous paintings, *Rye*, written after the tragedy | Photo: artchive.ru119 years ago, on 20 March (old style – 8 March), 1898, died the famous Russian landscape painter Ivan Shishkin. He died at his easel, his death was sudden and came from a broken heart. Classic image Shishkin as «poet of nature» and «the singer of Russian wood» gives no idea of what passion really was raging in the soul of the artist. He had to endure so many personal tragedies that such an outcome was quite natural.I. Kramskoy. Portrait of the artist Ivan Shishkin, 1873. The fragment | Photo: artchive.give the first half of life only passion of Ivan Shishkin was painting. He was born and raised in Yelabuga, on the Kama river Bank and the beautiful surroundings inspired him since childhood. At age 20 he went to Moscow to enroll in the School of painting and sculpture. Study he treated with the utmost seriousness: «the Artist must be a Supreme being living in an ideal world art and seeking only to improve. Properties artist: sobriety, moderation in all things, love of art, modesty of character, integrity and honesty… a Landscape painter – a true artist, he feels deeper, purer».The famous landscape painter Ivan Shishkin and his wife Eugenia | Photos: artchive.ru and liveinternet.ginv 1867 Shishkin and began to teach the young artist Fyodor Vasilyev, and soon became acquainted with his sister Eugenia, who in 1868 became his wife. At that point Shishkin was already 36 years old, and his fiancée is 21. Niece of the artist said: «wandering the furnished rooms he was terribly tired, and his whole soul surrendered to the family and his farm. For their children it was the most gentle, loving father, especially while the children were small. Evgenia was a good and simple woman, and her life with Ivan Ivanovich took place in a quiet and peaceful work.»Shishkin depicted his wife in two films: *the lady with the dog*, 1868, and *in Front of the mirror. Reading the letter*, 1870 | Photo: artchive.gioni have lived together for only 6 years. In 1872, the artist began a black stripe in life: first his father died, then – young son, Vladimir. From tuberculosis died wife’s brother Fedor, with whom drita was very friendly. And the next year took the disease and his beloved wife, a year later, the dead son Constantine. The artist has left only a daughter Lydia. About that period he recalled with horror: «the White light faded, all in black and white print, lost color. Back to life native Elabuga».I. Shishkin. Kama near Elabuga, 1895 | Photo: cultobzor.ruI. Shishkin. Rich log (Fir forest on the Kama river), 1877 | Photos: artchive.Gina some time he stopped writing and became addicted to alcohol. But painting saved him from despair. In this period, the artist creates paintings that would later be called his software works, life-affirming and celebrating the beauty of Russian nature. However, in reality these landscapes are hardly idyllic. On one of his most famous paintings, «Rye» – one detail makes some researchers make the assumption that it is not painted from nature, and added deliberately. Dead trees in the background looks like a dissonance against the background of this celebration and power of life. Perhaps in this way marked by a personal tragedy: after the loss of his father, wife and two children he felt a dry tree.I. Shishkin. Rye, 1878 | Photo: muzei-mira.comI. Shishkin. Mountain trail in the Crimea, 1879 | Photo: artchive.ruI. Shishkin. First snow 1875 | Photo: iskusstvu.to gvozdovtsy to life helped him not only his native Yelabuga, but also a new feeling, broken out by artist Olga Lagoda. She was one of the first 30 women, taken as volnoslushatelnitsey the Academy of fine arts. Olga became a pupil of Shishkin, and in 1880 his second wife. The couple have a daughter Ksenia, a month and a half after her birth, Olga died from inflammation of the peritoneum. Her death was a terrible blow for the artist, in a letter to a friend he admitted: «What is the loss I suffered… What it was for. Woman, wife, mother, along with the talented artist. Heart is bursting with pain». Olga Lagoda-Shishkina. A self-portrait. Sketches, 1880 | Photo: zdravrussia.ruthe Famous landscape painter Ivan Shishkin | Photo: ridus.Ginestra Olga Victoria was replaced by a newborn’s mother. She lived in the family of Shishkin care and niece, and his daughter from his first marriage, and of him. His death is a complete surprise to all. Shishkin was 66 years, he never complained about his health and continued to write. That morning he, as usual, was engaged with a student and worked on a new painting, «Forest Kingdom». Suddenly he shuddered, dropped his head on his chest, the disciple rushed to him, but it was too late – he died instantly. Arrived doctor noted a heart.I. Shishkin. On the edge of a pine forest, 1897 | Photo: artchive.ruIvan Shishkin in the picture *On the edge of a pine forest*, 1897 | Photo: vm.ruthe Most famous paintings by the great Russian landscape painter, created after these tragedies, filled with such harmony and peace that looking at them, you even suspect that experience of the artist.
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