Material / technique: oil on canvas.
Dimensions: 36 x 30,5 cm.
A small landscape with a spruce tree at the edge of a rural homestead done during the time when Ferdynand Ruszczyc went to the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg (where he studied under the tuition of the famous Russian landscape painters Ivan Shishkin and Arkhip Kuindzhi in 1892–1897). The study of the spruce tree was painted in summer, during his stay at his birthplace in Bogdanovo manor. It is a meticulous work of plain-air studies of nature that immortalised a specific corner of the homestead – behind the spruce, there is a thatched wooden stackyard overgrown by trees and a birch a little further away, with two rows of ramshackle wooden fences stretching on both sides of the spruce (fragments of this fence can be seen in other sketches done by Ruszczyc in Bogdanovo). Every element of the landscape masterfully conveys its own non-pretentious simplicity just as the beauty of the dark azure silhouette of the spruce tree is revealed against the backdrop of a cloudy sky. The picture is devoid of pettiness, the brushstrokes are accurate, rich, focused on moulding the form. The lines of the fence that gently lead the viewer’s eye deeper into the painting and the rather generic background forms create an impression of space, and the balanced, stable central composition and the harmony between the different shades of green and the grey-blue sky convey the mood of a quiet summer day. This work of art was kept in the family collection of Ruszczyc and was published in the catalogue of the painter’s exhibition in Warsaw in 1964. (By Rūta Janonienė)
Published: Ferdynand Ruszczyc 1870-1936 Katalog. [red. J. Ruszczycowna], Museum Narodowe w Warszawie 1964, s. 41, nr. kat. I/1 [wlasnosc rodziny artysty]; Algė Andriulytė "Ferdynandas Ruszczycas: Civis Vilnensis Sum", Publishing House of Vilnius Academy of Arts, 2018, P. 45.