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Silent abode

Painting, 1890, 87×108 cm

Description of the artwork «Silent abode»

Thirty years Isaac Levitan him "Quiet abode" earned great fame. It was after her about Levitan spoke not just as an accomplished artist as master and exponent of the national spirit.

Blissful quiet evening down on the river and the grove, hiding in its little green skit. Inks are transparent and clean – you even a minute mistake to decide what is in front of us early in the morning. Over the river stretch of rickety wooden bridges. Think will go for him, found himself under the shadow of an ancient monastery and all the misfortunes and sorrows, all are sinners and vanity will remain far behind. In the troubled decades bezveselniy "Quiet abode" was seen as a rare symbol of the "Russian grace".

Archiv collected documents and interesting facts about one of the most famous paintings of Levitan.

"Fresh air" vs "Tulupov and oiled boots."

"It seemed, just removed the shutters from the Windows, opened them wide open, and a burst of fresh, sweet air poured into stale if the exhibition hall, where so disgusting smell from excessive amounts Tulupov and oiled boots..." This expressive statement belongs Alexander Benois and describes his impression of the appearance of "Quiet abode" in XIX the traveling exhibition (1891).

To find out what made Benoit so bored (but seriously – to appreciate the context in which first appeared to the public "Quiet abode"), we looked in the catalogue of the nineteenth exhibition of the society and, indeed, there in abundance and we showed coats, and "greased boots". For example, in one year, "a Quiet abode" was exhibited genres Vasily Maximov "After mass"and "By his stripes", painting "The cranes are flying" friend Levitan, Alexei Stepanov with a Horde of peasant children in sandals and coats, "The capture of snow town in Siberia" Vasily Surikov, "Rustic painter" Abram Arkhipov, "Waiting for the best man" Illarion Pryanishnikov, the now-forgotten peasant painting young Bogdanov-Belsky and a lot of other bytopisatelya painting. These works are very different, United by peculiar Wanderers socio-accusatory trend, so that the world expert Benoit had reason to wince in disgust. Painting Levitan, as they are typically referring to Russian realities, on the contrary, gave a sense of the harmony of the world order.

How did the "Quiet abode" the audience?

Judging by the memoirs and biographical literature, with enthusiasm. Told that front of the painting thoughtfully for a long time there were two writer – the young Czechs and the old too, when they were joined by the third, Alexei Pleshcheev, who reported that Levitan painting – on the lips of all educated in Moscow. Newspapers and, more recently, suspecting that Levitan as an artist, "out", "wiped out", forgetting the old, excitedly blew that a brilliant landscape painter had just reached the Prime of his talent.

Preserved the epistolary evidence – a letter of Anton Chekhov, his sister Masha on March 16, 1891: "I was at the traveling exhibition. Levitan celebrating the birthday of his great Muse. His painting produces a sensation. The exhibition was ciceronian me Grigorovich, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of every painting; from Levitan's landscape he loves. Polonsky finds that the bridge is too long; Pleshcheyev sees the rift between the film's title and its contents: "excuse me, calls it a quiet abode, and everything is cheerful", etc... In any case, the success of the Levitan's not out of the ordinary".

As melancholic Levitan managed to achieve in the "Quiet abode" the ultimate tranquility?

The mood of the picture, indeed, was given Levitan is not immediately. Located in the state when "all cheerful" to him, who was called the singer of sorrow and longing, it was possible quite often.

Friend Levitan Sophia Kuvshinnikova, told how during the second half of 1880-x years, he and Levitan came to the sketches of Zvenigorod, in Savvino Settlement – an area with marvelous views of the bend of the Moskva river, a sort of "Russian Barbizon" – but here the artist was overtaken by another bout of his characteristic morbid melancholy.

"Levitan suffered greatly from the inability to Express on the canvas all that wandered unclear in his soul, says Kuvshinnikova. – Once it was set up particularly hard, threw quite work, saying that all over for him and he didn't what to live anymore if he was still disappointed in himself and in vain, fancied himself an artist... the Future seemed bleak bleak, and all my attempts to dispel such heavy thoughts were in vain. Finally I convinced Levitan to leave the house, and we walked along the shore of the pond, along the mountain monastery. The evening was drawing on (...) the mountain and the shadows flee away, and covered monastery walls and the bell tower lit up in the colours of the sunset with such beauty, that involuntary delight, and seized Levitan. Spellbound, he stood and watched as slowly more and more were rosy in the rays of the heads of monastic churches, and I happily noticed in the eyes of Levitan familiar flame of passion. Levitan sure there was a fracture, and when we came back to himself, he was already a different person. Again he turned to bliznetsam in the twilight monastery and said thoughtfully:
– Yes, I believe it will give me ever the big picture".

So, "Quiet abode" - a picturesque impression of the suburbs?

No! Unlike many of his full-scale works, this painting Levitan is not a "portrait" of a specific location – rather it summarizes the experiences of Levitan from different locations.

Having received the first strong impetus for the painting in Moscow, Levitan was not written conceived of the picture – he only remembered that the sense of peace that has replaced the depression, and the foretaste of happiness. But to "silent monastery" was born, it took a few years, the journey Levitan and Sofia Kuvshinnikova on the Volga life in the picturesque Volga ples, forwarding attacks in other settlements of the Volga, until one day, near the town of Yuryevets Levitan did not see the Krivoozersky the monastery and finally felt he needed a motive.

In "Quiet abode", thus, were synthesized impressions of Zvenigorod near Moscow and the Volga Plyos and Yuryevets.

"Controversial" the bell tower

From Krivoozersky monastery "Quiet abode" has borrowed a five-domed Church with domes-cupolas, but a conical bell, as in the picture, wasn't there. About where Levitan "wrote off" the tower, experts have long argued. For example, the biographer Levitan Sophia prorokova convinced that this belfry Levitan seen on Cathedral hill in ples, and the art historian Alexei Fedorov-Davydov argued that it is, rather, the bell tower of the resurrection Church in the village of Reshma near Kineshma. At the other points of view has its supporters.

Often the success of a landscape can be determined by the fervor of debate about what the countryside and the realities reflected in it the artist.

The literary description of the "Quiet abode" Chekhov – a step towards reconciliation with Levitan?

In the spring of 1892, exactly one year after Chekhov's letters to sister about levitanovskoy "furore", there will be a scandal. Levitan will read Chekhov's "the Grasshopper", and learning is a heroine and not-very-nice artist Hrabovska itself, and Sofia Petrovna, break relations with Chekhov.
As it seemed both forever.

Two years later, in 1894, in Chekhov's story "Three years" to get a piece, telling about how the heroine, Julia Lapteva, at the whim of the unloved husband-lover of bad painting, is the art show. Lapteva it seems that all the pictures here are the same and that they don't make her exactly the feelings, when suddenly...

"Julia stopped in front of a small landscape and looked at him indifferently. In the foreground the river, the log bridge across the river footpath, disappearing into the dark grass field, then on the right a piece of woods, near the campfire: must be the night guard. And burns away the evening glow. Julia imagined how she goes over the bridge, then footpath, farther and farther, and all around quiet, sleepy cry Dergachi, away flashing fire. And for some reason suddenly she began to feel that these same cloud, which stretches along the red part of the sky and the forest and field she had seen for a long time and a lot of times, she felt lonely, and wanted her to go, go and go along the footpath; and where were sunset, rested a reflection of something unearthly, eternal. – How well it is written! she said, wondering what the picture has suddenly become intelligible to her".

The name of Levitan in Chekhov's text is not named, but many scholars believe the text is exactly "Quiet abode". In 1895, the year of Levitan and Chekhov have restored relations.

"Quiet abode" is "a remake" – "Evening bells"

Two years after the creation of "Quiet abode" Levitan performed a kind of "remake" (creative repetition with the development of the theme) of this piece, which received its name "Evening bells". This is not a copyright copy, and the picture was made "on motives". Levitan changed the composition, instead of the bridge from the "Quiet abode" here is boats and floating ferry with pilgrims, there are other small differences, however, these paintings viewers are often confused.

Author: Anna Yesterday
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Landscape

Style of art: Realism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1890

Size: 87×108 cm

Artwork in selections: 82 selections

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