Isaac Ilich Levitan
oil on canvas
82 x 126 cm
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Levitan is known as one of the most refined and incisive of landscape painters. The concept of landscape as emotion entered Russian painting with his work. He knew how to render the true beauty of nature in all the diversity of its changing states, while at the same time presenting the state of the human soul in its most subtle emotions through landscapes. This was a valuable aspect of the painter’s genius. Golden Autumn, a joyful painting, is rather like a farewell song to the final flowering of nature, with the unusual brightness of the colours, the sparkling gold of the birch trees, and the multicoloured earth. This landscape, which was executed brilliantly and with considerable mastery, is characterized by the complexity in composition of colours and the variable density of the paint, which is laid on in thick coloured strokes.