Levitan's creativity in his paintings. Biography of the artist, life history and features of the paintings
Levitan's creativity in his paintings. Biography of the artist, life history and features of the paintings

Video: Levitan's creativity in his paintings. Biography of the artist, life history and features of the paintings

Video: Levitan's creativity in his paintings. Biography of the artist, life history and features of the paintings
Video: Isaac Levitan (1860-1900) A collection of paintings 4K 2023, September

Almost every person who is fond of art is briefly familiar with the work of Levitan, but not everyone knows about his biography. You will learn about the life of this talented person in the process of reading the article.

Childhood and early years

The future great Russian landscape painter Isaac Ilyich Levitan was born in 1860 near the railway station of Kybarty (modern Lithuania) in a poor Jewish family. His father Ilya (Elyashiv-Leib) Abramovich Levitan, like his grandfather, graduated from a rabbinic school, but did not achieve success in this field and served in various small positions on the Russian railway.

Besides Isaac, the family had three more children: Abel (who later took the name Adolf) and sisters Teresa and Michle. They lived very poorly, and in the early 1870s the father of the family decided to move to Moscow. But even there, the family continues to suffer. The father never finds a decent job, and the mother, Basya Girshevna Levitan, according to the stories of her contemporaries, a great lover of books, could even forget to feed the children because of an interesting novel.

life and work of Levitan
life and work of Levitan

Mystery of birthartist

Already being an adult, Isaac Ilyich did not like to talk about his parents. Perhaps this feature can be explained by the studies of the biographer of the great artist M. A. Rogov, who says that Isaac could not have been born in the family of Ilya Abramovich and most likely was the son of his brother Khatskel. But why the boy was brought up in the family of Ilya and Berta Levitan, no one can explain. Both brothers kept this secret until the very end.

Long 11 years of study

The elder brother of Isaac in 1871 enters the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Two years later, Isaac Ilyich also entered there. As Levitan's biographers found out, his father did not see much talent in him, but the fact that the brothers studied in one place was convenient in its own way.

When the future great landscape painter turned 15, his mother died, and two years later the father of the family also died of typhoid fever. Due to the dire need of the family, and given the success of both brothers in their studies, the school exempts them from paying tuition fees and even sometimes pays benefits.

Levitan, who is currently studying in the “natural” class of the artist Perov, is noticed by Alexei Savrasov and transferred to his “landscape” class. Fourteen-year-old Isaac understands the new teacher perfectly, although many other students find him too eccentric. But the young man perfectly understands how an oak can rustle in a picture or a birch can worry.

However, despite all his successes, Isaac Ilyich leaves the school without receiving a diploma. First, after the assassination attempt on Alexander I in 1879, all Jews were removed from Moscowand their families. And despite the fact that Savrasov, who is increasingly skipping classes due to drunkenness, still allows his graduation work to be a diploma, the anti-Semitism of other teachers and the growing hostility between Savrasov and Perov do not allow Levitan to receive a document. In 1885, Isaac Ilyich graduated from college, but never received the title of artist.

artist Levitan "Lilac"
artist Levitan "Lilac"

Becoming an artist

After graduation, Levitan settles in cheap rooms on Tverskaya together with his great friend and classmate Alexei Stepanov (he is the one who settles the wolf in the painting “Winter in the Forest”). In addition to the love of painting, they were united by the love of hunting.

Levitan was again in great need of money, so the purchase of his painting “Autumn Day. Sokolniki” by collector Tretyakov. In addition, under the patronage of Polenov, Levitan and Korovin get a job painting scenery for Savva Mamontov's Private Opera. But the work was not to the liking of the landscape painter, and Mamontov did not take root.

creativity Levitan
creativity Levitan

The role of A. P. Chekhov in the life of I. I. Levitan

The future great writer and the great landscape painter met in early youth. The artist often visited the Chekhovs in Babkino at a time when he, like all Jews, was expelled from Moscow.

It was there, in Babkino, that Levitan fell in love with the only sister of the five Chekhov brothers - Maria. It is to her, the first and only, that he makes a marriage proposal. But Maria refused him.

Levitan and Chekhovthey were friends until the death of the artist, although there was a period when the friends seriously quarreled. Chekhov wrote his Jumping Girl, choosing the then muse of Isaac Ilyich Sofya Petrovna Kuvshinnikova as a prototype for the not very pleasant main character. Levitan was very offended by his friend and stopped all communication with him for three long years. But this could not go on for a long time, and Levitan gladly took the first opportunity to make peace with Anton Pavlovich, since he really lacked his calm prudence.

I. I. Levitan "Winter landscape with a mill"
I. I. Levitan "Winter landscape with a mill"

Crimea in the works of Isaac Levitan

Despite the improved financial situation, a troubled childhood made itself felt with heart disease, and in 1886 the artist went to the Crimea to restore his he alth. The artist Levitan, whose work is known to all people interested in art, fell in love with the sea at first sight, but quickly lost interest and began to rush back to the Central Russian landscapes.

Levitan's Crimea was not at all the same as the landscape painters had previously portrayed. Not grand-palace, but more severe and tough. Despite the fact that the artist painted many sketches here, most of them never became full-fledged paintings. One of the few "grown up" sketches was "By the seashore. Crimea", now stored in the State Russian Museum of St. Petersburg. It was a landscape composed rather than painted from nature. Another painting by Levitan - "Crimean landscape" became natural.

The artist Levitan, whose biography and work are presentedto your attention in the article, left the Crimea to return there just before his death in 1899. But this fact does not at all mean that the artist fell in love with the Crimean landscapes so much that he wanted to see them again. In fact, he came to see his friends A. P. Chekhov and his sister Maria.

The artist almost could not work at that time. Only a few Crimean landscapes have been dated to the last year of his life, which are rather reminiscent of that distant spring when Levitan first visited the peninsula.

I. I. Levitan "Crimean Landscape"
I. I. Levitan "Crimean Landscape"

First acquaintance with the Volga: disappointment of the artist

On his return from the Crimea, Levitan organized his exhibition, consisting of 50 landscapes. The artist dreamed of visiting the Volga, which his teacher Alexei Savrasov painted so beautifully. And in 1887, his dream came true, and instead of writing again along and across the studied Moscow region, Levitan went to the Volga. But Isaac Ilyich suffers a serious disappointment. He, who had hoped to get inspiration he had never seen before, is faced with a harsh reality.

At that time, the weather was terribly cloudy and gloomy, and nature also seemed dull to Levitan. In a letter to Chekhov, he wrote: "Stunted bushes and, like lichen, cliffs …". The artist rents a room, hoping to wait out the lingering rains, but he still fails to establish relations with the great Russian river. During the time that he was on this trip, he was overcome by a terrible longing. It was almost impossible to work outdoors. An artist suffering from many diseasesquickly froze, his hands did not obey. And due to the fact that during the day he was idle a lot, at night he was overcome by insomnia.

Levitan was sure that nothing else would connect him with the Volga. In complete disappointment, he returned to Moscow, deciding never to return to the Volga theme.

I. I. Levitan "Cloudy day on the Volga"
I. I. Levitan "Cloudy day on the Volga"

Hard winter and new friends

Despite everything, Levitan continued to work with the sketches he made in the summer. The heavy blue-green-gray palette of those works speaks of the deep depression that the artist was experiencing at that time.

Driven almost to despair, the artist even tried to commit suicide. It was only by a miracle that they managed to get him out of the loop. And in 1886, Chekhov, who noticed the despair of his friend, introduces him to Dmitry Pavlovich Kuvshinnikov and his wife Sofya Petrovna, who kept an art salon, popular in those years.

After they met, Levitan was surprised to recognize in Kuvshinnikov one of the hunters from Perov's famous painting, and Sofya Petrovna agreed to give several painting lessons. Thus began an affair that lasted almost 8 years.

Return to the Volga

In 1888, Kuvshinnikova convinced Levitan to go to the Volga again. Places near Zvenigorod, where they went for two summers to study, she was tired, she wanted variety. Isaac Ilyich resisted, explaining his refusal by the fact that he had already been on the Volga and there was nothing to see there.

Then Sofya Petrovna found an alternative - Oka. Together with the artist Stepanov, they sailed along the Oka to Nizhny Novgorod, and there, in search of a quietplaces where one could live and work in peace, they arrived in Plyos.

Levitan was fascinated by this small town. His spleen was forgotten, he worked with rapture, starting several paintings at the same time. All of them were easy for him, the artist was fascinated and truly passionate about his work.

On this trip, Isaac Ilyich absolutely changed his mind about the Volga. She ceased to seem gloomy and heavy to him, lightness appeared in the paintings and, as Chekhov, who saw the work of his friend already in Moscow, said, a smile. This is the peculiarity of Levitan's work - all his works are light, inspired, charming.

Three years in a row both Levitan and Kuvshinnikova came to Ples. Here he painted many of his most famous paintings. Impressions of Ples crept even into those of his works that were written in other places. For example, the Plyosskaya church was inscribed in the painting “Above Eternal Peace”, recognized as the most Russian landscape, which was painted on Lake Udomlya.

It was from the works written during this period, as critics say, that the real Levitan began. The most important work - a kind of result of the entire Volga period in the work of Levitan - the painting "Quiet Abode".

I. I. Levitan "Quiet Abode"
I. I. Levitan "Quiet Abode"

The sunset of Levitan's life

Severe heart disease became seriously aggravated after Levitan turned 35. Biographers argue whether it was a congenital disease or acquired myocarditis. But they all agree on one thing, that neurasthenia markedly increased the manifestations of the disease.

Meanwhile, onin the artistic professional field, success follows Levitan on his heels. Having never received the status of an artist, he is accepted into the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions. Levitan often travels abroad, but not so much for inspiration for new landscapes, but for treatment.

A few years before the death of Isaac Ilyich, he was invited to teach at the Moscow School of Painting, where he himself once studied. Then he received the title of academician of painting.

Death of an artist

Levitan spent the last year of his life in Y alta with his friend Chekhov and his sister at Anton Pavlovich's now famous Belaya Dacha. Isaac Ilyich really wanted to live, but the disease took away his last strength.

The life and work of Levitan could have continued for a very long time, but in August 1900 the great artist died before reaching the age of forty. He is buried in Moscow at the Jewish cemetery. There is a legend that in that year the lilac blossomed twice, so sincerely loved by the artist…