The Russian landscape painting remains quite unknown in Western Europe and America, especially if compared with another pictorial movements as the Barbizon School in France (which have an important influence in the Russian landscape painting) or the Hudson River School in the USA. However, 19th century Russian painters introduced a very special, emotional style into the landscape genre.
Savrasov was one of the most important -arguably the most important- of all the 19th century Russian landscape painters, considered the creator of the lyrical landscape style. A trully emblematic work, “The Rooks Have Come Back” (or "The Rooks Have Returned") is Savrasov's most famous painting, a lovely elegy to the spring announced by the rooks return. The canvas shows Savrasov's love for the rural Russian landscape, very influenced by John Constable. One of Savrasov's most famous pupils is
“The Rooks Have Come Back” was painted by Savrasov near Ipatiev Monastery in Kostroma.
“The Rooks Have Come Back” is considered by many critics to be the high point in Savrasov’s artistic career. Using a common, even trivial, episode of birds returning home, and an extremely simple landscape, Savrasov emotionally showed the transition of nature from winter to spring. It was a new type of lyrical landscape painting, called later by critics the mood landscape. The painting brought him fame.
I have come to you with greetings
To tell you the sun has risen,
To say that its burning light
Through the leaves has sent a flutter;
To say that the woods have waked,
Every corner, and every twig,
Every bird has taken wing
Full of appetite for spring;
To say I have come again
Full of passion, just like yesterday,
To tell you my soul is ready
To serve happiness and you;
To tell you that all around
Gaiety is wafting on me,
To tell you I really don't know
What I'll sing, - but that a song is coming.