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“Spring in Italy”, Isaac Ilyich Levitan – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

Spring in Italy – Isaac Ilyich Levitan. 1890. Oil on canvas. 19.5 x 32.5 cm.
At the end of 1889, Isaac Levitan first went to Europe. The purpose of the trip was to get acquainted with Western fine art, and especially with its modern trends. As we recall, impressionism was moving confidently in Europe during this period. Isaac Ilyich was very lucky – just at that time the World Exhibition was held in Paris, at which all the achievements of modern art were presented.

In the period from 1889 to 1990. the painter creates a number of works devoted to Italy, among which the presented works are perhaps the most colorful and cheerful.

Both canvases bear the same name, depict the same landscape and are painted in the same year. In the first picture, we see spring just entering its rights. They didn’t have time to snow yet, the mountain peaks sparkle with ice caps and the air is still fresh and transparent in winter, but lush greenery pleases the eye with its brightness and purity, and the bushes dotted with delicate pink flowers.


In the second picture, Levitan depicted the late spring, which is about to give its rights to the summer. The bushes have become even larger, the snow has long disappeared, and only the mountains sparkle as brightly.

It can be noted that not only time (the beginning of spring and the end) is distinguished by two canvases – the works differ in the position of the sun. It can be assumed that in the first picture the sun is at its zenith, which is why the landscape is so bright, but the second canvas is illuminated by the setting sun, which can be judged by more calm darkened colors.

How all this is imrpessionistic, European! Suffice it to recall Claude Monet, who created many pictures on the same landscape, but not that at different times of the year – at different times of the day, wanting to trace the smallest changes in the atmosphere and air.

While in Europe, Levitan tried this method, creating variations of the same plot. Is it possible to argue with what he did very accurately, subtly and talentedly? …"

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