IVAN IVANOVICH SHISHKIN
signed in Cyrillic and dated 95 l.r.; further stamped twice Etyud I.I.Shishkina and bearing an Avanzo stamp on the reverse
oil on board
60.5 by 34.5cm, 23¾ by 13½in.
The artist's board has a slightly convex profile. There are some historic losses to the board support on the extreme edges. There are also some very minor historic deformations and repaired damages visible on the reverse of the board. The board appears stable. The board has a black painted perimeter on the right and lower edges. The upper and left edges appear to have been cut, removing the black painted perimeter on these sides.
The paint surface has an even varnish layer.
The paint surface is stable.
Inspection under ultraviolet light shows scattered carefully applied retouchings, most notably within the sky in the upper part of the composition and running intermittently along the left and upper edges. There are also a few small retouchings within the foliage, a small retouching within the wall towards the lower right corner, and a small spot of retouching within the centre of the signature in the lower right corner.
The painting would therefore appear to be in good and stable condition.
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Acquired by the mother of the present owner in Moscow in the 1940s
The pine tree was one of Shishkin’s favourite subjects and he returned to it time and time again in his plein-air studies. Throughout his career he never stopped making studies from life; observing nature in all her different states and honing and refining his skill, for he regarded his studies as works of art in their own right, not mere aide-memoires. Ivan Kramskoi, the ideological leader of the Itinerant artists and one of Shishkin’s closest friends said of the artist’s studies in 1872 ‘Shishkin simply amazes us by his ability, doing two or three studies in a day, and such complex ones too… Out there, face to face with nature, he is in his element, he is bold and clever and unhesitant: out there he knows everything… he is by himself a school’.