“Evening”, Isaac Ilyich Levitan – overview of the painting

“Evening”, Isaac Ilyich Levitan – overview of the painting
"Evening", Isaac Ilyich Levitan - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Isaac Ilyich Levitan
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1877

Overview of the painting :

Evening – Isaac Ilyich Levitan. 1877. Oil on canvas. 71 x 53 cm.

   In 1877, at the 5th exhibition of the Partnership of Travelers, young, novice artist Isaac Levitan presented his two works to the public: “Sunny Day. Spring ”and“ Evening ”. Of course, the paintings were not exhibited in the main hall, since Levitan was still completely unknown, but in a special student department that wore the fifth serial number.

   As a result, Evening along with Sunny Day became the earliest works of Levitan from the survivors. The canvases were immediately marked by critics, and Isaac Ilyich was awarded a small silver medal.

   How did the picture “hook” the picture of the audience? Truthfulness, emotionality and narrative. We see an abandoned, impoverished village, to which we are led by a broken earthen road with wheels knocked out of the cart wheels and dirty puddles. The author decided to depict this place at dusk, barely painted with red sunflowers. Therefore, all the elements, non-casist abundance, trees, a rare weave, we see almost in the form of silhouettes. In some places you have to guess – what is going through the evening half-dead.

   The sunset, it would seem, was supposed to revive the sad rural landscape, but no. Falling through the dense veil of the clouds, reflected in puddles on the road, the sunset light, in the most unimaginable way only emphasizes all the sadness, sadness and loneliness of the plot. It even makes some concern that has been noted more than once by many art historians and critics.

   Looking at the canvas, involuntarily in the head the question arises: why is the plot of a young, full of creative forces and a clearly gifted painter so sad? The answer is simple – the picture can be called a kind of chamber of the author’s state of mind, and Isaac Ilyich really had a hard time during this period. Most recently, he lost his father, and two years earlier his mother died. That is why the images and ideas generated by the artist’s creative inspiration are sad.

   In fairness, I would like to note that such a minor interpretation did not stand out among other similar in the plot of paintings from editorial artists. It was such a tuned dominant that was in many paintings by masters of an independent society. Levitan was even compared with the Quinji Archipus, whose fame directly rattled at that time in Russia.

   The picture “traveled” a lot before finally gaining a permanent place. First, she was bought by a philanthropist and collector Ivan Sveshnikov, and after his death, according to the will, the picture, together with his entire collection, migrated to the Rumyantsev Museum. After some reason, she ended up in the State Museum Fund, and from there she was transferred to Tretyakovka, where she can be seen today.