The Sayan is a mountainous region to the south of Lake Baikal. Fast flowing rivers surge picturesquely through huge crests down its tall, majestic peaks, covered in forests of pine and larch. Dark conifers and rocks dominate the upper reaches. Every spring, delicate ledon flowers (a Siberian shrub) blossom profusely. Lebedinsky, like many other artists, was attracted by the epic force of the Lake Baikal landscape; he worked passionately, using his spatula to render the powerful stony slopes, and his nervous brush to paint the carpets of flowers. The composition of this large work looks like a veritable fragment of nature itself. Here and there are subtle traces of a human presence: a road disappearing into the distance, and a small wooden bridge over an impetuous spring stream.


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