Shishkin is generally famous for his paintings depicting the Russian forest at any time of the year. But more than any other artist loved to write oaks and pines. He valued the former for the power radiated by them, and the latter attracted Shishkin with his grace and refinement.
The painting “Oaks” is a mature work of Shishkin. It was established in 1887. In kind for the artist served as a park Dubki, located near St. Petersburg.
In the foreground of the picture are three oaks. We can say that these magnificent trees “hold” on themselves the whole composition. Everything else serves only as a background, a kind of frame for giant trees.
The trunks of oak trees are drawn with amazing precision and thoroughness. Here you can easily consider the smallest roughness of the bark and bends of branches. The trees look so real that the hand stretches to touch them. You want your skin to feel the warmth emanating from these age-old oaks.
Yes, three trees occupy the central part of the composition, but despite this, the picture does not give the impression of something massive and overloaded. Through the trunks of oaks can be seen the edge, where trees grow too. The image of a transparent blue, almost white sky without a single cloud adds light to the canvas.
The horizon line runs diagonally from top to bottom, giving the impression of life and dynamics. The same movement is repeated in the image of the path in the lower right corner of the canvas. The branches of the central oaks are directed in one direction, to the right. With this technique, Shishkin balanced the forest in the background to the left.
There is no image of the sun in the painting, but the canvas is literally penetrated by sunlight. This sensation is achieved by the play of light and shadow, the finest color transitions. Many researchers note that “Oaks” is a new stage in Shishkin’s work, another peak of his skill. Here, without losing the talent of a draftsman, attentive to details, he learned in a special way to convey the atmosphere of living nature.