‘Rye’, last remains of a forest

Shishkin, Ivan (1878) Rye [Oil on canvas]. Moscow: The Tretyakov Gallery.
From the perspective of the forest A Rye Field by Ivan Shishkin evokes an ambiguous feeling. This is a great work of art, that in the first place. It contains artistically beauty, power and mystery in one. The powerful pines and the endless fields of golden corn give the viewer a colour palette, detail and dimension with a great realistic and an almost 3-dimensional experience. As if one is on the place of action, 142 years back in time, somewhere in a vast Russian landscape, in another time and in another life.

The second mind comes in though, that from forest perspective. As if I was the forest, speaking out. Was this painting an early warning that humans were heading to took the land, for rhymes and reason, and destroy the sheer beauty of the forest ecosystem and all life and lives within it. This painting really evokes two moods: that of romantic view and sheer beauty of composition, colour and craftsmanship and that of great loss at the same time. Strange how history can change perception. At least mine. ‘Rye’ is more actual than ever.