Arkhip Kuindzhi in Russian Museum (A Moonlight Night on the Dnieper)
The loveliness of Russian scenery, the radiance of moonlit nights and sunlit mountain peaks, is conveyed by Arkhip Kuindzhi (1842-1910). The mastery of A Moonlit Night on the Dnieper, which reproduces the greenish silvery sheen of the wide river in the evening, is truly a delight. When the piece was first exhibited in St. Petersburg in 1880, many viewers demanded to see the other side of the canvas, suspecting that it was artificially lit from behind. Many were sure that the artist had some special secret, and to this day, its arresting beauty invariably causes the museum-goers to pause before it in admiration and wonder.
I have known this pic ture for a long time, and seen it at all hours of the day, and in every kind of light, and I can safely say that the first time I looked at it I could not get rid of the physical feeling that my eyes were dazzled, as though by real moonlight, and every time I have see it since, I have the same sensation, accompanied by intense enjoyment of the night with its fantastic light and perfume.
Ivan Kramskoi, painter and art critic
A. I. Kouindjy (1872-1910) denotes a distinct advance upon Shishkin, being one of the first to let a lavish fulness of light — moonlight as well as sunlight — into his pictures.
The Russian Arts. Rosa Newmarch, 1917