The composition of Levitan’s painting “Spring: Great Water”

The composition of Levitan’s painting “Spring: Great Water”


An excellent master of landscape, Isaak Levitan mainly appealed to the discreet, simple types of Russian nature. It is this kind of impression on the canvas, called “Spring., Great Water.”

Here we see a spring, just awakened nature. It became warm, and a wide flood of the river began. The image of the river is central to this canvas. It is shown with great accuracy, easily recognizable to every spectator. A full-fledged river flows to the horizon, beckoning us somewhere in an uncertain distance.

We understand that the high water is in full swing: it has flooded young birches, spruce and other trees for a quarter, washed houses and structures located on the far shore. This – the real “spring water” (by the definition of the writer M. Prishvin), the predecessor of greenery and flowering gardens. On the water – an intricate game of shadows and sunlight. The reflections of the trees are clearly visible. They are of amber color, and this adds extra, very gentle and joyful colors to the image of the spring flood.

Trees (for the time being bare, not having covered with foliage) are stretching towards the sky. This is dominated by the same amber, almost luminous paint, and against their backdrop, the whiteness of slender, thin birches stands out most clearly. They immediately attract the eye of the viewer.

All this landscape is full of sun – yet not very hot, but such a long-awaited! All living things, bored for the winter by the warmth and light, now enjoy them and glorify the spring. The sky – high, blue and light – spread over the river and its environs. It complements the feeling of magnificent space, air and freedom.

This picture leads to reflection on life, which in its youth is similar to such a full-flowing, wide April river. There is a boat waiting at the shore: sit in it and swim wherever you want. There, beyond the turn of the river, new open spaces and unusual impressions will open, and the path will necessarily be long and interesting.



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The composition of Levitan’s painting “Spring: Great Water”