Description of the picture:
Quiet abode – Levitan. 1890. Oil on canvas. 87.5×108
This masterpiece of the Russian church landscape was created by the artist shortly after his first trip abroad. At a first glance at the picture, the viewer feels that the author seemed to miss his native expanse, with such strength, love and tenderness he recreates the Volga cloister on the canvas.
The monastery is fenced off from the world by the Volga, only thin and shaky bridges connect it with the bustle and troubles of the secular world. In the pinkish rays of the rising sun, when nothing breaks the silence around, a monastery buried in verdure looks especially solemn and calm.
Light, fearful clouds in the morning sky rush to make room for the light after a short summer night. Reflection of the monastery in slow and lazy river water creates a special rhythm of work, allows the viewer to return to the details of the masterpiece again and again, and sets them to calmly contemplate the magnificent Russian landscape.
Shaky walkways end with a shore on which someone carefully constructed a sand staircase. A trodden path is visible next to the stairs. This detail of the landscape acquires symbolic meaning. Everyone can choose their own path to the temple. It is as if the author is trying to say that the road to God can be different, and the final goal appears only after long and devastating searches and mistakes.
In addition, the rising sun has already lit up the monastery church, while the opposite shore is still dominated by twilight. And the reflection of the monastery in the Volga water can be a symbol of a mirage – those temptations and false virtues that turn a person away from God’s world, complete peace, peace and spiritual purity.
The picture is rich in halftones. The master managed to discern dozens of the finest, subtlest shades in the timid and muffled light of the sunrise. All this makes the work very close to everyone, gives rise to warm and bright feelings."