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Created in 1872, the canvas once again confirms the artist’s love for nature and especially for the forest. He portrayed it at noon, in clear weather, where light plays in the leaves. But there is another version of the thicket: full of darkness and the unknown.
Such a vision can cause awe or even fear of the unknown in the viewer. It is these feelings that Shishkin awakens with his painting "Wilderness". It was the sensuality of the picture that brought the master the title of professor, immediately after finishing work on it.
Looking at the thicket, few people wish to be in such a place, and even alone. But not immediately the viewer manages to see a full-fledged forest in the depicted landscape. The artist conceived the picture for a long examination by the viewer. He must feel what he has seen, get used to it, to look deeper.
The picture is full of small details that can elude a fleeting glance. There is a fox and a duck, which eludes the claws of a cunning predator. For such detail of the artist, his comrades in the brush repeatedly scolded him, calling the picture a painted picture, and the details are piecewise inscribed in the general image. But never before the detailing of the depicted has not affected the integrity of the created image.
The depicted forest does not cause a burst of inspiration or lyrical reflection, but still it appears before the audience amazingly rich in its colors and varied in its details. These details attract a long and careful look at the treasures that the forest hides in the shadow of branches. Then the spectator absorbed in secrets dissolves unnoticed for itself and only nature remains around.
So Shishkin created this landscape, as the embodiment of his spiritual impulses, as a reflection of his own view of the infinitely beautiful element of nature: the dense northern forest, untouched so far by the hand of man.
Night Over the Dnieper