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Amazingly beautiful landscapes are created by nature itself. It gave the artist - to see and capture them. For Ivan Shishkin, such paintings have always been excellent. After all, he even knew how to write branches, blades of grass and leaflets almost with photographic accuracy on huge canvases. And in the picture “Cliff” we also see soil washed out by water, from which roots sticking out in some places. Here is a stump that fell in the bed of a ravine. Once, apparently, he still clung to the earth, but it was mercilessly washed away by the streams rushing here with every rainfall, with every melting snow.
At the bottom of the cliff there is a water surface. Probably, the ravine descends to the river. That is why the water rushed here so confidently that it has spent such a hollow here over the centuries. And yet, young trees rooted at the bottom of the ravine that, contrary to everything, grow and turn green.
Water has a lot of stones. This mighty stream drove them here from above, from where birch trees are trying to grow on the very edge, but it’s difficult to grab their roots on the ground, so they banked and hung over the ravine.
Usually the author created such paintings, copying them from nature. He looked for magnificent places and came to them every day, at the same hours, in order to find almost the same state of nature, the same illumination.
He wrote “Cliff” on a clear summer day, when it was dry in the ravine, and the exposed clay acquired yellowish-orange hues. Shishkin painted tirelessly, working on several canvases at the same time. His secret was that he had one painting in the work - for the morning hours, another - for the day, and a third - for the evening, when a penetrating foggy haze could fall to the ground. And for each time of the day he chose the appropriate plan, the most profitable looking at specific lighting.
Savrasov Early Spring