The Birch Grove1879 by Arkhip Kuindzhi

...But the painting, which enjoyed most success when these three were exhibited, was Birch Grove. Crowds of people stood for hours in front of it; it was as though the sun itself had burst into the exhibition hall, illuminating the grassy glade and playing on the white bark and green leaves of the birches. During his work on the picture, Kuinji's chief concern was to find the most expressive composition. From sketch to sketch he gradually arrived at the perfect positioning of the trees and dimensions of the glade; in the final version there is nothing fortuitous, nothing merely 'copied' from nature. The foreground is in shudow, and this accentuates the richness and brilliance of the green glade. Avoiding theatrical effects, the artist succeeded in creating a decorative picture in the best sense of the word. It is an inspired glorification of the beauty and poetry of nature, of the blinding power of sunshine.
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