Summer evening. River by Isaac Levitan

Summer evening. River by Isaac Levitan

The gift of artistic generalization, which Levitan possessed, developed and gained strength as a result of impressions from trips to the Volga. There Levitan felt all the greatness and unity of nature. This great river, sung by the people, connected with its history, uniting many lands, helped Levitan to feel nature in the sense of universal humanity as a deep and majestic expression of harmony and purity that are peculiar to man.

Volga open spaces brought him a surge of creative energy, a special fullness and harmony of world perception. Spiritual contact with the Volga expanses turns out to be fruitful, marking the beginning of a new stage in Levitan’s life and art, marked by the highest achievements, by creating the best works of Russian landscape painting of the late 1880s – early 1890s.

At the same time, in all the works of Levitan of this period, the unique features inherent in his talent – a very special, emotional “photosensitivity” and susceptibility to movement, pulsation, elusive changes in the life of nature, which were expressed, in particular, in tonal the wealth of his works. For him, in nature there was no paint, color per se, but only colored light of varying degrees of intensity.

Levitan was alien to all that was excessive, screaming; it was no accident that he almost never wrote the hot summer heat, preferring such states of nature when the sunlight gently spreads. Contemporaries left many admissions that it was thanks to Levitan that the native nature “appeared before us as something new and at the same time very close, expensive and dear.”

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