Evening - Isaac Ilyich Levitan. 71 x 53 cm.
In 1877, at the 5th exhibition of the Association of Peredvizhniki, the young, novice artist Isaac Levitan submitted two of his works to the court of public: “Sunny day. Of course, the paintings were not exhibited in the main hall, since Levitan was still completely unknown, but in a special student unit, which bore the fifth serial number.
As a result, “Evening” along with “Sunny Day” were the earliest surviving works of Levitan. The canvases were immediately noted by critics, and Isaac Ilyich was awarded a small silver medal.
What is the "hooked" picture of the public? Truthfulness, emotionality and narration. We see an abandoned, impoverished village, to which we are led by a broken dirt road with ruts and dirty puddles knocked out from cart wheels. The author decided to portray this place at dusk, barely colored by flashes of red sunset. Therefore, all the elements, unpretentious huts, trees, a rare wattle, we see almost in the form of silhouettes. In some places one has to guess - what appears through the evening half-haze there.
The sunset, it would seem, was supposed to revive the sad rural landscape, but no. Breaking through a dense curtain of clouds, reflected in puddles on the road, sunset light, in the most unimaginable way, only emphasizes all the sadness, sadness and loneliness of the plot. It even brings some concern, which has been repeatedly noted by many art critics and critics.
Looking at the canvas, the question involuntarily arises in my head: why is the plot so sad for a young, full of creative forces and obviously gifted painter? The answer is simple - the picture can be called a kind of tuning fork of the state of mind of the author, and Isaac Ilyich really had a hard time during this period. Most recently, he lost his father, and two years earlier his mother died. That’s why the images and ideas generated by the artist’s creative inspiration are sad.
In fairness, I would like to note that such a minor interpretation did not stand out among other paintings similar to the plot of the Wanderers. It was such a mood of dominance that was in many paintings by masters of an independent society. Levitan was even compared to Arkhip Kuindzhi, whose fame really boomed at that time in Russia.
The painting traveled a lot before finally acquiring a permanent place. First, it was bought by the philanthropist and collector Ivan Sveshnikov, and after his death, according to the will, the painting, along with his entire collection, migrated to the Rumyantsev Museum. After some reason, she ended up in the State Museum Fund, and from there she was transferred to the Tretyakov Gallery, where she can be seen today.