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Name: Isaac Levitan

Born in: 1860

Country: Russian Empire

Genre: Landscape

Works

Biography

 "It is not necessary to decorate the nature, but it is necessary to feel its essence and free it from fortuity"

I. Levitan

 

"How strange and scary all this - as well the sky, and no one is looking. What is the mystery of the world - the earth and the sky. There is no end; no one will ever understand this mystery and death. And the art in it there is something heavenly - the music. "

I.Levitan

 

"Why am I alone? Why women who were in my life did not bring to me any peace and happiness? Perhaps because even the best of them - the owners. They want all or nothing. I can accept this. I can only belong to my quiet homeless muse, everything else - vanity ... But, realizing this, I still aspire to the impossible, the impossible dream ..."

I. Levitan

 

"He is the greatest poet among them and the biggest magician of mood, he has the most musical soul and the most keen sense of Russian motifs in the landscape. Therefore, Levitan, absorbed all the best aspects of Serov, Korovin, Ostroukhova and a number of his other friends could from all of these elements to create your own style, which was the style of the Russian landscape, justly called "levitan's landscape."

I. Grabar

 

"Levitan - is an artist who sang his song about Russian nature by so clear, so pure, so fascinating voice that we almost do not find in the literature conflicting interpretations of his work. It is difficult to even meet the spectators, who, coming to his works with an open mind and heart remain indifferent, do not fall under the charming, surprising sincerity and love of Levitan for Russian nature, do not fall under the spell of his rare ability to transmit all colours, all the features of characteristics and features of the nature of central Russia. "

B. Ioganson, a soviet Socialist Realist painter

 

Isaac Ilyich Levitan (august 30, 1860 –august 4, 1900) was an outstanding classical realist and Russian landscape painter who advanced the genre of the "mood landscape". His teacher, Alexey Savrasov, introduced him to the calm beauty of the Russian nature, where he discovered the mood landscape.

Levitan's intimate, lyrical and philosophical works are very personal and represents the artist's own style. They reflect the world and human feelings. His paintings are full of light, sadness and melancholy. Levitan's works are filled with endless search of new images of Russian nature.


Levitan was born in 1860 in a small town in Augustów Governorate in Congress Poland, (a part of the Russian Empire) into a poor but educated Jewish family. In the late 1860s, his family moved to Moscow, and in 1873 Levitan was enrolled into the Moscow School of Painting and Sculpture. He graduated in the year 1883. His mother died in 1875 and his father died two years after. As a result of this, he started to live in great poverty.


In 1879 he produced his first important picture, Autumn Day. Sokolniki – the only work of Levitan with a human figure. However, the figure of the woman in the picture was created by his friend N.Chekhov – brother of the famous Russian writer A. Chekhov.
Levitan and A. Chekhov were close friends; they had the same passion for melancholy poetry of the nature.

In 1892 Levitan created a social historical picture - The Vladimirka Road – in which the road along which prisoners was marched to Siberia.


The most famous picture of the artist is Above the Eternal Peace (1894) – the picture is distinguished by deep philosophical meaning and psychologism. The artist reflects about the 'nothingness' and the 'transience' of life. Levitan explained his feelings, stating "Eternity, menacing eternity, in which generations had drowned and would drown else ... What horror, what fear!"


Levitan led a very private life; he was bombarded with high capacity of work. In the late 1880s to mid 1890s he created a few more portraits. In 1897 Levitan became sick. Feeling the permanent menace of death, he worked with intensity, passion and inspiration. As opposed to his illness Levitan took active part in art life - taught at the Moscow School of Painting. He also took part in organizing the Moscow Club of Literature and Art, and exhibited a lot. His latest works are characterized by maturity of his own style.