Description of the picture:
Birch Grove – Levitan. 1889. Oil on canvas. 28,5×50
The artist took four long years to complete this picture. A rare case for the work of the great master of landscape.
It is interesting that the beginning of this work was laid in the suburbs, and it was completed on the banks of the Volga in the Kostroma province.
The artist worked so carefully on his "Birch grove" not by chance. In Russian culture, birch plays a special role. Ever since the most ancient, pagan times, for the Slavs this tree was important for numerous ceremonies. Birch symbolized well-being, femininity and health. The artist was well aware of the special attitude of the Russian person to the white-barrel beauty, therefore the work was not easy for the master.
The whole picture is filled with joyful light, moving shadows, skillfully conveyed by the author, give rise to this playful mood in the picture. Interestingly, tree trunks give rise to associations with people on a walk.
Dozens of shades of green, yellow sun glare, blue floral blotches, birch whiteness – all together merge into a colorful ensemble that creates the mood of the picture.
Using excellent possession of the perspective, the author seems to draw the viewer’s gaze into the depths of the grove, forcing imagination to work, to compose some "continuation" the plot.
The smallest details that make the picture unusually realistic are expertly executed. But the main thing in the work is light, he acts as the main character of the plot, introducing echoes of an ancient sacred character into it "happy" tree of the Slavs."