A restless traveller, Kryzhitsky made lengthy expeditions around northern and central Russia, preferring its forbidding forests to the sun-drenched shores of Crimea. The geographical diversity of his landscapes and their vague titles make it nearly impossible to pinpoint their exact locations. The rolling hills and rich, impenetrable woodland depicted in the present lot are nevertheless reminiscent of the lush environs of Zvenigorod, a fashionable town just outside Moscow. In the late 1880s and 1890s, Kryzhitsky is known to have been a frequent visitor to Count Sheremetev's nearby estate of Vvedenskoe. Situated on the banks of the Moscow river, it boasted an impressive panoramic view of the late-14th century Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery, one of the most important monastery complexes in Russia.
It is worth pointing out the faint outlines of domes and towers dotted along the skyline, pentimenti from an earlier composition underneath which bear a strong resemblance to 19th century views of the Volga town of Yurevets. The tree-stumps which can be seen in the foreground of the composition serve as a reminder of the limited impact of human interference on this magnificently impenetrable and never-ending forest.
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