Who among the Russian landscape writers was considered “ poet and magician of mood “? Isaak Levitan of
Is in Moscow area a fine corner where two great persons who were thinly feeling both the Russian nature, and the Russian liked to have a rest I smother. The writer Anton Chekhov and the artist Isaak Levitan several times came to spend summer to the small village of Babkino which settled down near the Istra Small River in several kilometers from New Jerusalem.
Until recently there was a modest monument - stone Chekhov with a sad smile looked at coast of Istra overgrown with rare birches which his friend liked to write. At the beginning of a new century the monument was demolished. And correctly made. Is more useless to the writer who was so loving the Russian nature to admire the construction market which closed for it a panorama of levitanovsky places. Probably, we should admire the native nature too soon only on cloths of landscape writers, one of the leading places among which by right takes Isaak Ilyich Levitan.
The way to recognition for Levitan developed hard: it had enough desire and persistence on study, and here money, alas, is not present. The family lived in poverty, but means for training of sons, Abel and Isaak, in the Moscow school of painting, sculpture and architecture hardly scared up. Life half-starving affected the health of parents, at first mother died, and then from typhus the father died.
In seventeen years for Isaak the most difficult period of life began, he even had to spend the night in classes or on an attic of school. There was constantly not enough money for food and art accessories, and for failure to pay an installment it was expelled from school. Thank God, messmates helped, collected the necessary sum. Also the teachers of school who achieved release it from a tuition fee as " were connected; rendered great success in art “ and allocations of a small uchilishchny grant. And then and recommending it for a grant the general - the governor of Moscow prince Dolgorukov.
With teachers Levitan was lucky. It was taught by recognized coryphaeuses of the Russian painting - Vasily Perov, Alexey Savrasov, Vasily Polenov. Probably, they felt in the thin inconsistent fellow not of just good artist, but future genius, time in every possible way preserved it and persistently conducted to skill tops. And the talent at the fellow was cut through beyond the years early. In 17 years of its work exposed at an uchilishchny exhibition publics drew attention and received laudatory words in the " newspaper; Russian sheets “: “ The Landscape writer Mr. Levitan exposed two things: one - “ Fall “ and another - “ Overgrown court yard “. All this is written just skillfully, in everything looks through feeling of the artist, his undoubtedly vital impression by nature; judging by these two pictures, there is no doubt that inclinations of Mr. Levitan of very remarkable character “. But the main thing was even not in what was favourably noted in the newspaper, and that in the same number in the report on the scheduled mobile exhibition very flatterly spoke of Savrasov, Shishkin, Kuindzhi`s landscapes. The remarkable neighbourhood for the young artist.
In January, 1880 in Levitan`s life there was an event for which and venerable painters wait for years. Levitan`s work “ Autumn day. Hawkers “ P. M. Tretyakov got. And it already recognition. Now the young artist could not worry about a daily bread, and entirely devote himself to study and creativity.
Levitan was lucky on good people. He was sponsored literally by the great artist - the landscape writer Vasily Polenov seeing in the pupils “ companions on business “. The patron Savva Mamontov involved it in creation of scenery for the private opera. Levitan wrote scenery to operas “ Mermaid “ “ Life for the tsar “ “ Snow Maiden “. This work gave to the artist not only good practice, but also an opportunity to improve financial position, to achieve long dream - a trip on etudes to the Crimea.
The works brought by the artist from the Crimea showed that the apprenticeship time for Levitan ended. In Russia the new talented landscape writer with a recognizable manner of the letter and own view of the nature appeared.
To understand Russia, without having visited Volga, it is impossible, and Levitan in the spring of 1887 goes to the great Russian river. The works brought from this trip were enthusiastically met by both the audience, and creativity fellows. The artist exposed the Volga works at the seventeenth mobile exhibition, and several pictures were got at once for the gallery by Tretyakov who especially liked a cloth “ Evening on Volga “.
The artist had an opportunity to travel, see works of the best western masters, and he goes abroad. Levitan visits art galleries and art salons of Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy. He not only studies works of old masters, but also writes much. But “ brushed “ the European nature does not touch soul, and the artist hurries to return to native birches and the Volga open spaces. Only in Russia Levitan could work easily and fruitfully.
The destiny to Levitan released a short century, he died at the turn of the century on July 22 (on August 4), 1900. In two decades of vigorous creative activity he managed to create more than one thousand works which were included into gold fund of the Russian culture. To describe words of his picture - a thankless job. It is necessary to see them. Fortunately, its cloths are practically in all art museums of the country, and a reproduction of its works - even in school textbooks.
At the beginning of the last century the artist and the art critic Igor Grabar, analyzing works of the Russian landscape writers, told about Levitan: “ He is the biggest poet among them and the biggest magician of mood, it is allocated with the most musical soul and the sharpest intuition of the Russian motives in a landscape “. And from an easy hand of Anton Chekhov Russian forever included the term “ levitanovsky nature “. And today, to express in words beauty of some corner of Russia, there is no need in detail it to describe, rather simply to tell: “ Levitanovsky landscape “.]