Description of the painting by Ivan Kramskoy “Forest Path”

Description of the painting by Ivan Kramskoy “Forest Path”

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Kramskoy is a Russian artist, master of genre and historical painting, portrait painter, art critic, a man of keen mind and great talents. It was he who at one time led the “riot of fourteen,” when the Academy of Arts held a large competition for the best painter.

The winner would receive a gold medal and full board in Spain, but the Council reserved the right to determine the topic for students. So all the participants in the “riot of fourteen” got the theme “Feast in Valhalla”, which did not appeal to any of them. At first they filed a request for change, then, when the request was not granted, they left the walls of the Academy and went into free swimming.

This desire for freedom shows through in all the paintings of the artist, not only genre or historical, but even in simple landscapes. The Forest Path is no exception. With light strokes of the brush, he seemed to outline the path along which you can escape from the noisy stuffy world to a natural, quiet and complete peace.

The forest rivulet is visible in the picture, reflecting the lazy movement of the clouds. The trees are whispering leaves and reaching for the sky, as if wanting to tickle it. And in the thicket of the forest a narrow path escapes, heated by the summer sun, and gets lost in the thick darkness.

The contrast of the gold-flooded forest with darkness under the canopy of distant trees is striking - the path seems to lead to the underworld. However, there, in the wet dusk, there is also its own freedom - the freedom to know that no one is looking at you and not try to judge you, the freedom to fry mushrooms and pick berries, instead of working and exhausting oneself for someone else.

The path beckons, calls and attracts.

Even just looking at the picture, I want to enter the canvas, step on the warm forest land, and go where my eyes look, under a sky full of clouds, in a world written with a light brush and as if glowing from the inside.

Roden Kiss

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