Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Art Review - "River Backwater (Pond)" by Isaac Levitan

Last week, I shared a piece by Winslow Homer featuring rich and exaggerated greens, so for this week's #MuseumTourTuesday let's take a look at how even more sophisticated and realistic greens can have just as much of a dramatic impact.

In this piece by Isaac Levitan, the artist uses drastic value changes to capture the mood and mystery of the scene. While there is a subtle color temperature change happening, the piece relies on a much more realistic portrayal of the greens inherent to the subject. This painting is in the collection of the Plyos State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve in Russia.

Born in 1860 in what is now Lithuania, Levitan's family relocated to Moscow when he was 10 years old. At 13, he enrolled in the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Levitan became devoted to capturing the landscape, rarely painting other subjects. His closest friend was Russian writer Anton Chekhov, whom he met through an association with Anton's brother, also a student at the School of Painting.

"River Backwater (Pond)" • Isaac Ilyich Levitan • Oil on Cardboard • 19.5 × 30cm • 1898

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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