The painting “Oaks” is one of the most famous landscapes of Ivan I. Shishkin. The canvas was painted in 1887 by the park of Dubki near St. Petersburg. This canvas is an excellent example of plein air painting, which the painter was very keen in those years. It was in the process of direct communication with nature that he comprehended her secrets and learned mastery. Oaks and pines – these trees liked to draw Shishkin more than others. The artist admitted that he liked pine trees with his grace, and the oaks – with the power contained in them. The canvas of “Oaks” also testifies to the artist’s love for these trees.
In the picture, Shishkin paid special attention to the general color, the cut-off “arrangement”, but at the same time preserved the simplicity and realism of the subject image. The general lighting is beautifully conveyed on the canvas. In the picture we see a sunlit glade and a group of old oaks – powerful and stocky. Patterned leaves of trees somewhere brightly flare in the sun, and somewhere are immersed in the twilight. We observe how through the green of the lush oak crown the areas of the summer blue sky shine through.
Weightless shadows slide along the trunks and crowns of trees and easily lie on a green glade. The painting “Oaks” is very fresh, juicy, colorful. The realism of the image is combined in it with the finest transmission of the shades of light, and this gives it incredible expressiveness. This canvas, like many other works of I. I. Shishkin, shows how meaningful and exciting the surrounding landscapes can be. The artist teaches us all not just to love our native nature, but also to feel it deeply.