Masterpiece of Levitan Bridge. Savvinskaya Sloboda (1884, the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow) is a manifestation of his ability to portray the most unassuming motive for a precious sense of unity and harmony of nature, the joy of her spring renewal.
The color solution of this work, built on a combination of different shades of vernal greens, celestial blue and warm, sun-ocher, makes us recall Korovin’s words about the passion he possessed in those years and Levitan of expressing the expressive possibilities of painting: “There are wood in the yard – and how they can be written, what a gamut of colors there is in them! The sun is burning on them! The yard no longer seems empty and deserted – it lives! “
The sketch “Bridge. Savvinskaya Sloboda”
While the upper half of the sketch, the bridge, and the color and character of the painting are very similar to the “Savvinskaya Sloboda” and other etudes (the same interpretation of slightly greyish greens, huts, logs), the lower part of the sketch differs sharply from them, in features how the purple shadows on the bridge are written, the reflection and shadows on the water beneath it, the green bright grass. Their color is much more intense, and the paint is put more energetic and diverse smear. This becomes even more obvious if you consistently close the lower, then the upper part of the sketch. Of course, Levitan was able to generally maintain the unity of the sketch, but still the first plan below differs from the upper-image of the upper part. On closer examination, it is striking how little the intensity of the purple spots on the boards and the brightness of the green grass are maintained in the distant plans. Obviously, The transfer of the game of light and shadows on the bridge and in the water under it was especially interesting for Levitan, and he specifically strengthened them later. When could this happen?
Recently, in a private collection in Kiev, we found a drawing “Bridge”, dated 1885. In it, purple strokes on the bridge look not so much as shadows, but as independent spectacular colorful spots. Probably, in the same period, that is, in 1885, Levitan also completes this sketch. Etude lost thus in the integrity of painting, but won in its sunshine. But it is this sunlight, the transparency of the air, some kind of radiance of the whole image and give the lyrical charm to the unimpressive motive of the village backyards. Sunlight here – it’s not just lighting, but the glowing air itself, soft and light. Etude entices us first of all with the joyous, light and happy state of the soul expressed in it, transmitted as a young joy of solar nature. Levitan, partially rewriting his sketch “Bridge”,