The New Hermitage Landscape in the works of Russian artists
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Landscape in the works of Russian artists

Beautiful pieces of Russian landscape paintings permitting to form a judgement about the development of Russian landscape genre are kept in Moscow private collections.

Gallery "The New Hermitage", for the first time in the practice of art galleries, has decided to present these rather numerous works to spectators. At the same time, the organizers have not had the idea of presenting only masterpieces and of making a comprehensive review.

The present exhibition begins with the works of those artists, who have retained in their works the traditions of the previous romantic period.

Aivazovsky`s pictures still strongly show the traces of the romantic epoch with its pathos of perception of nature from the point of view of a positive ideal.

Unlike the romantics, Russian landscape artists of the 60-80s resolutely turn to images of their native nature. National specific and concrete features of the topic act determiningly in landscape painting of that time. Most brightly these tendencies appear in Savrasov`s works. Preserving romantic spiritual perception of nature, he adds to the landscape painting "poetry existing alongside with natural execution", according to Kramskoy.

While Savrasov tends to paint lyrical landscapes, Shishkin is a representative of the epic line of Russian landscape painting. Shishkin resolutely rejects effective picturesque motives, not wishing "to prettify" nature. For the landscapist "to imitate the nature absolutely" is a basic principle. His works reflect the idea that "nature should be perceived in all its simplicity, the drawing should follow it in all its fanciful forms".

In the 80-90s Russian art strives to become more emotional, more tense in its spirituality. The main problem facing the landscape genre, is to show the artist's mood expressed through the nature. Escape from the urban atmosphere, from dark, stuffy workshops to the nature, where all the surroundings shine with freshness and brightness, has made the artist to make changes to the composition and coloring of his pictures.

Most brightly the concern for plane-air searches is revealed in Polenov`s landscapes. However, the true spokesman of the new tendencies in landscape painting becomes Levitan. The large role in the creative activity of Levitan play studies and sketches. They are characterized by free performance, subtlety of tonal proportions.

Teaching at the Moscow school of painting, Levitan has influenced significantly the artistic development of Petrovichev, Joukovski, Byalynitsky-Byrulya and many other artists who later join the Union of Russian artists.

The artists belonging to the Union are interested not in the events taking place against the background of nature but in its various, spontaneously changing states and phenomena. Bright in particular is the striving to convey transient states of nature during day and night and season alteration .That is characteristic for the works of such artists as Petrovichev, Byalynitsky-Birulya, Turzhansky. Depicting on their canvases the diverse motions of natural forces, the artists thus convey through a landscape their spiritual impulses and emotions.

Impressionism as a new art system based on perception and reflection of fleeting instants of the life kaleidoscope, has influenced greatly the landscape painting of Russia of the late XIXth - the early XXth centuries. Almost all artists of that time, such as, for example, Joukovski, Korovin, Grabar, have experienced impressionist perception of nature.

In the first quarter of the XXth century the "reflection landscape" is replaced by the "expression landscape".

New understanding and points of view on landscape painting are presented at the exhibition by such names, as R.Falk, P.Kouznetsov, A.Kravchenko and others. However, this epoch deserves a special detailed story.

Larissa Kashuk
Master of History of Art

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