Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin

© State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

Introduction

This Learning Collection is based on the virtual exhibit, Horizons: Canadian and Russian Landscape Painting (1860-1940). Russian painting generally evokes the tradition of icons or the avant-garde movement of the early twentieth century, whereas Canadian painting is often thought of as little more than regionalist expression. But, like all clichés, these views are rather limited and overlook the rapport between the two "schools of painting." In this regard, landscape painting reveals the similarities between the two.

The approaches to landscape by Canadian and Russian painters show parallels that go well beyond the geographic and climatic features shared by the two countries.

The approximately 250 works in the virtual exhibition have been grouped under four major themes—Roots, Self, Voyage and Spirit—representing Canadian and Russian artistic visions of landscape. Whether rural or urban, intimate or grand, these works reveal not only how artists appropriated the land around them, but also how they understood and depicted it. In this manner, they helped shape an image of their country in the collective consciousness.


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