Isaac Levitan [Исаак Левитан], Clouds c.1895 / Summer Evening, 1900
The Lithuanian-Russian Painter with a Love for Landscapes
Clear, simple compositions and the changing moods of the landscape. Tranquil and filled with light, Levitan captures the rural beauty and sparseness of his beloved country in his paintings. And even the changeable beauty of clouds. Lyrical is the word that springs to mind. He did not have an easy life, at times filled with great loss and near poverty, which makes his achievements all the more admirable.
Letter to Sergei Diaghilev:
You probably think that my future landscapes will be soaked in pessimism, so to speak? Don’t worry, I love nature too much.
He was entirely devoted to painting, with no family and no children - he lived for his work. In just 40 short years of life, he had over a thousand paintings to his name, in all mediums, a testimony to his dedication and love for making art.
I want to discover and locate in my own country the most simple, the most intimate, the most commonplace and the most emotionally moving…
* Point of possible interest: In 1979 a minor planet is discovered by Soviet astronomer and subsequently named after this incredibly humble man - 3566 Levitan. Да… well deserved!