In the early period of creativity, Isaak Ilich Levitan was influenced by his teachers Alexei Savrasov and Vasily Polenov. Over time, the artist came to the conclusion that the full-scale sketch, which was, as it were, the basis of the picture, is only the initial stage on the way of revealing the figurative content of the conceived work.
Levitan extremely developed the emotional expressiveness of the landscape, showed the subtlest nuances of the life of nature. The feelings conveyed by the artist are inherent in all people, and therefore understandable to everyone. The artist is objective, he does not subordinate nature to his experiences, and even more so does not distort it to please them. Nature is “humane”, emotional in both late and early works of the artist. Only the content of emotions changed, and the way they expressed themselves. The moods underlying the levitanian landscapes are not only objective, but also deeply meaningful.
Disclosure of the “hidden mystery” in nature, its great spiritual content was the constant aspiration of Levitan throughout his short creative life. Comprehension is given to the artist is not easy. Suffice it to recall one of the letters of Levitan sent from the Volga to A. P. Chekhov in 1887: “Could it be that it is more tragic, how to feel the infinite beauty of the environment, to notice the hidden mystery, to see God in everything and not be able, conscious of his impotence, to express these great sensations. “
In the circle of close people, Isaak Levitan often liked to repeat the lines from Yevgeny Boratynsky’s poem To the Death of Goethe. They thought of him the true “ideal landscape”: