Isaak Levita1 - houses in the background are submerged and...

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Isaak Levitan: Spring Flood (1897) Oil on canvas, 64.2 x 57.5 cm. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Once again the spirit of Isaak Levitan is expressed in another of his landscapes. In this work he shows the Russian landscape after a flood. It is a different rendering, however, than the much gloomier Vladimirka Road . The flood has passed, leaving the landscape wet but sunny. It seems that Levitan is more optimistic here: the painting projects a message of hope because after the storm the sun always comes out. It is not a sad view; there is no devastation or destruction. A solitary boat is anchored by the water edge waiting to be claimed by somebody. The trees are starting to change leaves and carry a message of renewal. The
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Unformatted text preview: houses in the background are submerged and are the only actual evidence that the subject matter is a dangerous natural phenomenon. Everything else could be called simply a "river landscape." The colors are bright and warm. Yellows and ochres, browns with a contrasting dull blues make it a great combination, very pleasing to the eye. It seems that Levitan is much more concerned with the aftermath of the flood than with the actual event. The white trunks of the birch trees, so characteristic of the Russian landscape, together with the blue water and the gray sky help the painter break the monotony of the other colors. In the background, a green grass field serves, once again, as an element of hope and renewal....
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