Isaac Ilyich Levitan, Vue près de Zvenigorod, tableau

Isaac Ilyich Levitan (Kibarty, 1860 – Moscou, 1900)
Vue près de Zvenigorod
Huile sur toile
Signature postérieure en bas à gauche
34 x 52 cm



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This stunning early work was painted by Levitan on one of his trips to the countryside near Zvenigorod, west of Moscow.  He first visited the area in his mid-twenties, shortly after completing his education in Moscow. As Averil King comments, it was an important moment in his career:  'Only when he made a trip to the village of Savvino Sloboda near Zvenigorod in the spring of 1884 did his work take on a more personal character as he sketched and painted in the area...' In his studies 'there is a more varied composition and a new and felicitous touch' (A.King, Isaak Levitan, Lyrical Landscapes, 2004). Fellow artists  Sofia Kuvshinnikova accompanied Levitan to Savvina Sloboda in 1887 and recall hows Levitan's spirits lifted once he had  settled in the village. Indeed, he painted some of his most acclaimed works that autumn, including the original Autumn Morning, Mist [Osennoe utro, tuman] which now hangs in the State Tretyakov Gallery.

Levitan would typically make several sketches of views which particularly captivated him, and these are often unsigned. There are two known works which also depict this stretch of river – a watercolour study previously in the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery and an unsigned oil, currently held in the Far Eastern Art Museum in Khabarovsk (fig. 1).

Several of Levitan's works from the late 1880s (for example The Overgrown Pond, 1887, The State Tretyakov Gallery), are similarly restricted in palette to a range of greens, extraordinarily evocative here of the shaded river surrounded by trees. The lowly wooden structure in the middle distance is characteristic of his tendency to include signs of human activity in what are, above all,  'landscapes of mood'.

Source : Sotheby's