Silvestr Shchedrin

Shchedrin, Sil’vestr Feodosievich


Born Feb. 2 (13), 1791, in St. Petersburg; died Oct. 27 (Nov. 8), 1830, in Sorrento. Russian landscape painter; one of the founders of the Russian realistic landscape school. Son of the sculptor F. F. Shchedrin and nephew of the landscape painter S. F. Shchedrin.

Shchedrin studied with M. M. Ivanov and F. Ia. Alekseev at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg from 1800 to 1812. In 1818 he received a stipend from the academy to study in Italy. Shchedrin’s early landscapes were in the spirit of classicism. In Italy the artist evolved from a devotion to antiquity to a careful study of nature. Unlike his predecessors, he did studies in oil, observing the color and light relationships in the landscape (The Coliseum, 1819, Tret’iakov Gallery, Moscow).

In the series The New Rome (1823–25), Shchedrin conveyed a total picture of the city, depicting its modern and ancient buildings and scenes from everyday life. His desire for naturalness and for a thorough portrayal of nature in his works sparked Shchedrin’s efforts to present a unity of nature and lighting; the same goals are evident in his plein-air representations and his use of uniform tonality and color. The paintings Small Dock in Sorrento, On the Island of Capri, and View of Sorrento Near Naples (all 1826, Tret’iakov Gallery) reveal a poetic treatment of nature. The ambience of light and air is conveyed by a very subtle range of silver hues, and genre motifs dissolve into the landscape. The series Terraces in Sorrento (1825–28) is permeated with a feeling of the sweetness of midday in summer, peaceful tranquility and happiness, and the beauty of everyday life. Genre motifs occupy a large place in the series, but at the same time there is a certain color intensity and emphasized emotionalism. Shchedrin’s landscapes from 1828 through the 1830’s, in particular the two versions of Moonlit Night in Naples (1828–29, Tret’iakov Gallery and Russian Museum, Leningrad), are marked by romantic animation and complex light and color effects.

Shchedrin’s landscapes of Italy are full of poetic harmony, a harmony similar to that found in the works of the Russian poets K. N. Batiushkov, A. S. Pushkin, and E. A. Baratynskii. His realistic portrayal of nature and achievements in plein-air painting marked a new stage in the history of Russian landscape painting.


Pis’maiz Italii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1932.


Konopleva, M. “S. F. Shchedrin.” In Materialy po russkomu iskusstvu, vol. 1. Leningrad, 1928.
Fedorov-Davydov, A. Russkii peizazh XVIII–nachala XIX veka. Moscow, 1953.