Italy too sweet

Russian landscape painters travelling central Europe. The case of Savrasov and Shishkin

  • Jan Zachariáš (Autor/in)


Traveling was an important part of artistic education for many landscape painters in late imperial Russia, and the St Petersburg Academy of Arts devoted considerable funds for travel scholarships for its most excellent graduates. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the desired destination for foreign study for Russian landscape painters changed from Italy to the more artistically progressive places such as Düsseldorf and Geneva. From 1860 onwards many Russian landscape painters, including Ivan Shishkin and Aleksey Savrasov, studied with renowned painters like Alexandre Calame and Rudolf Koller in Switzerland, or with the Achenbach brothers in Düsseldorf. This paper will explore how two Russian artists – Shishkin and Savrasov – mastered the painting manner of Calame and the Düsseldorf School, and how they were able to reuse the visual strategies of Central European painting to express Russian nature.