“Dusk. Moon ”, Isaac Ilyich Levitan – overview of the painting

“Dusk. Moon ”, Isaac Ilyich Levitan – overview of the painting
"Dusk. Moon ”, Isaac Ilyich Levitan - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Isaac Ilyich Levitan
  • Museum: Russian Museum
  • Year: 1899

Overview of the painting :

Twilight. Moon – Isaac Ilyich Levitan. 1899. Oil on canvas. 49 x 61 cm.

   The canvas “Twilight. Moon ”is the brightest representative of the landscape of mood genre created by Isaac Levitan. Such paintings can be read as a kind of autobiography of the artist, since in them he himself: his thoughts, feelings, events.

   The author of the picture is already sick, feeling bad. He is recognized by society, as fellow workers in the workshop, but is in a strained, cold relationship with his best friend, writer A.P. Chekhov. His heart hurts and walks still young (he is not even 40) Isaac Ilyich, leaning on a stick. That is why his canvas is melancholy, gloomy and some lonely.

   The picture is visually divided into two halves – a vast sky with a single circle of the moon and unlimited water surface, reflecting the same sky, and the whole same moon. No soul, no breeze, just a slightly noticeable ripple on the water.

   The blue palette is driven by densely orange trees, yellow grass along the banks, dark become tall pines. Compositely everything is harmonious and accurately verified. The loaded right side is more than balanced by two lonely, thin, almost naked trees, thereby evenly distributing the viewer’s attention to the canvas. This filigree and subtlety is so characteristic of Levitan.

   On the one hand, we see an autumn landscape in all its “levitanov” beauty – with a characteristic palette, structure, elements and mood. On the other hand, knowing the biography of the author of the picture, one can imagine work in the form of one of the last chapters of his life. Less than a year will pass and Isaac Levitan will not. What happened in this last chapter – growing loneliness, emotional anxiety, disappointment …