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Not too well known in comparison with the later creations of the great Ivan Shishkin, the canvas was created in 1856 for the first competitive test at the Academy of Arts. The high skill of the author was rewarded with a small silver medal and received many flattering reviews from recognized, venerable artists. Particularly noted was the large portrait similarity of the landscape with nature.
The picture differs from the usual Shishkin works of this subject by painstaking drawing of small details. The clear outline of the characters, like a popular print, seems too contrasting.
The plot is very simple, straightforward, and has the usual everyday implication.
In the foreground, a horse slowly drags a wagon with a dozing cab. Apparently, the monotonous creak of the cart lulled the driver, and the dream took the man into his warm embrace. In addition, he was tired of fatigue after hard work - in the background there is a field with a high hay stack and a compressed strip in a narrow field. The viewer understands that the peasant is returning from work. The path lies through the forest, where the cart enters along the walkways through the gully. The creaking of wheels, the dull thud of hoofs, the soft snoring are the only sounds that violate the peaceful silence of the surroundings. The driver’s dream doesn’t disturb anything. Around - ringing silence, and not a soul around.
Deciduous forest, flower glade, bottomless azure sky with clouds above the tops of woodlands in the depths of the canvas make up an amazingly beautiful landscape. In this work, the artist was able to apply his outstanding skill as accurately as possible, reproduce in detail the smallest veins of leaves, tiny cones on coniferous trees, rhizomes of centuries-old giants, overgrown deadwoods, meadow and wildflowers rare in low-key beauty.
If you look closely at the spreading tall tree on the left side of the canvas and a group of trees near the horizon, you can see how filigree the small leaves of the crown hanging over the road are depicted. The bush on the right side is just as well drawn.
The picture has so much sunshine and summer heat that the viewer literally feels the heat and sultry breath of a fine day flowing from the canvas.
Shishkin was most successful in landscapes filled with majestic calm, regal silence, broken by nothing and nobody. The painting “A View in the Environs of St. Petersburg” perfectly illustrates his unique talent, which has earned the author fame and respect around the world.
A masterpiece of landscape lyrics is kept in the Russian Museum of St. Petersburg.
Reshetnikov Again Two