U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Rooks Have Returned

I want to share with you one of my favorite Russian spring paintings. Can you feel a smell of melting snow? coolness of the spring air? can you hear birds ?

Alexey K. Savrasov (1830 -1897).
Oil on canvas.
From collection of the Tretyakov Gallery.

***Copyright TatyanaS
Alexey Savrasov was one of the most important -arguably the most important- of all the 19th century Russian landscape painters, considered the creator of the "lyrical landscape style". A trully emblematic work, "The Rooks Have Returned" (or "The Rooks Have Come Back") is Savrasov's most famous painting, a lovely elegy to the spring announced by the rooks return. The canvas shows Savrasov's love for the rural Russian landscape. (


  1. That is beautiful. I love old prints and have a small collection of vintage and one newer one.

  2. Just beautiful! such talent..

  3. Wonderful paintings, full of life and colour. Funnily enough I was watching Rooks build their nests yesterday.

  4. So beautiful! There's something about it - the shadows on the snow and the graceful branches, that reminds me of the painted laquer boxes I used to window-shop for in London (that were always very expensive!).

  5. It's hard to believe that this is a painting, it's beautiful and like a photograph.

  6. It is simply a breathtaking piece!

  7. Hi Tatyana- what a beautiful painting. Thank you for sharing. I see things like this and know I really must learn more about the world of art.

  8. Hi Tatyana~~ The setting is peaceful but the birds are busy--kind of a juxtaposing of ideas and emotions. Thank you for sharing this.

  9. Dear Tatyana,
    Thank you for sharing this painting.
    I had never seen any of this artist's work.
    I shall do some research.
    I love this wonderful materpiece.

  10. светланаMarch 19, 2009

    Это удивительно! Мы смотрим на мир через один и тот же эмоциональный портал... Я давеча смотрела из окна на 9 этаже офисного здания и прилаживала саврасовский образ к виду слева и виду справа... Грачей нет... А снега почернели, набухли и тают... И закаты стала необыкновенно розовыми...

  11. Love this Russian Painting as well... thank you for sharing new Garden Friend. Happy Planting - Bren

  12. I am so happy that you like this painting! For me, the most amazing is how a painting from long ago can awake such strong feelings in us, let us feel probably the same what Alexey Savrasov felt looking at that scene. There is a tragedy behined the artist name.
    The misfortunes in his personal life (early death of several children, financial problems, etc.), may be dissatisfaction with his artistic career were the reasons of his tragedy – he became an alcoholic. All attempts of his relatives and friends to help him were in vain. The last years of his life Savrasov led the life of a pauper, wandering from shelter to shelter. Only the doorkeeper of the School of Painting and Pavel Tretyakov (the founder of the Tretyakov Gallery) were present at his funeral.

  13. What a beautiful picture!

  14. Thank you, Tatyana, for that picture! I didn;t know Savrasov's story -- how very sad! I saw the painting in the Tretyakov many years ago, and it has always seemed the essence of Russian spring to me. That special feeling as the cold begins to loosen its grip on the world, the icicles begin to drip, the earth to soften beneath the snow, and the rooks symbolize returning life. It's the time when you can hear the booms and crashes as the ice breaks up in the rivers, and the great slabs of ice begin their slow slide down to the sea; in the forests you can begin to find the spears of lily of the valley if you look very carefully, and Moscovites search for lilacs in the markets. I can smell it all!


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