The painting of Levitan “Spring. Great water ”- overview

The painting of Levitan “Spring. Great water ”- overview
The painting of Levitan "Spring. Great water ”- overview - 1

  • Posted by Isaac Ilyich Levitan
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1897

Overview of the painting :

Spring. Great water – Levitan. 1897. Oil on canvas. 64.2×57.5

   The spring favorite by the artist in this picture is depicted during his most powerful manifestation. Before us is a flood that has captured part of the coastal forest and several village buildings. The boat, which at this time serves as the only vehicle for communication with the world, not only denotes the invisible presence of a person in the landscape, but also gives the composition logical completeness, connects natural awakening with increasing activity of the peasants.

   The golden ochery tones that the author uses to transmit the warming spring sun are mixed with blue shades of water and sky. A similar combination of colors was loved by ancient Russian icon painters to give their work special paralysis and to depict the mountain world.

   The mood is very cheerful, even fun. Trees growing out of the water seem to rush towards the sun, sky and heat, tired of winter sleep, they straighten their branches like a awakened person, sipping, driving away the rest of the dream and bringing his body into a “working” state.

   Flooded sheds and baths look like ships going to sea. Water surface is almost motionless. Reflected trees visually lengthen the picture, giving the composition vertical aspiration and special dynamics. Nature woke up, and her first deep sighs gave rise to this wonderful phenomenon, bringing joy and hope for a good, fruitful year.

   Very little time will pass and the kidneys swollen on the trees will burst with green tedding of colors. Everything calmed down in anticipation of this main spring miracle. Water and heat revive life.

   The subtle pink shades give the whole composition an outfit and energy. In the whole landscape, internal dynamics, the expectation of a miracle, the anticipation of beauty are felt.

   The work reflects the author’s attitude to what is happening. A person who was sincerely and unconditionally in love with his native land could see the triumph of the eternal law of “invitable” life in a flood. One has only to look at the subtle silhouettes of trees, at the light clouds in the sky, at the transparent water to understand – the author admires every small detail, writes out every drop of life-giving moisture, every twig.

   An experienced author avoids sharp and bright colors. He tries to convey the Russian spring as accurately as possible, without embellishing anything. Therefore, the palette of the picture is unusually modest, but true and realistic. Russian nature does not need jewelry, since it adorns the world better than any other.