This is the only affordable book on Russia's great 19th Century forest painter - the "Tsar of the Forests" - currently available. It's a great bargain at £9.95 so snap it up quickly, as these Parkstone books have a habit of disappearing quickly (previous volumes on Russian artists were on Repin and Serov). The good thing about this book is that it exists and that it includes dozens of superb paintings in full colour (and many more graphic works in black & white) in a well-made, properly-stitched 200-page large (285x240cm) hardback. For all this it is undoubtedly worth 5 stars. The text, unfortunately, isn't up to the same standard, not because its quality is poor, but because rather little is about Shishkin himself, and more about 19th Century Russian painting in general. Also, most if not all of the illustrations are also in the 1984 Pan/Aurora Shishkin book, a superb volume despite only being available in paperback (I've had mine rebound in hardcover) so this isn't essential if you have that one. But if you were lucky enough, like me, to see the magnificent Shiskin paintings in the "Russian Landscape" exhibition at the National Gallery in 2004 you won't need any further recommendation to buy this book anyway.
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