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In the Tretyakov Gallery there are two paintings by Levitan “Golden Autumn” - the 95th and 96th years. The artist lived these years near the ancient village of Ostrovno (mentioned even in the annals of the end of the Horde yoke) near Vyshny Volochyok, in the Tver region (two even more ancient cities).
And for some reason, the best of the two paintings is considered an earlier work, 1895, Autumn. But so much has been said about this landscape that its description can be found on any site. “Golden Autumn”, written a year later, is not so famous, you will not find “reviews” about it on the Web, but it is not worse at all, if you reason with objectivity! We will try to correct this situation. So, I. Levitan, Golden Autumn, 1896.
This landscape is as light as the earlier Golden Autumn and uncharacteristically “major” for Levitan, in whose paintings the colors of sadness usually slip - the colors of muted, mixed tones. The usual theme of the artist’s autumn landscapes (he has about a hundred “autumn” paintings!) Is “sad nature withering”. But in this picture there is no sadness at all! - A beautiful Russian forest river of deep blue color, as it happens in autumn under the bright sun, the crowns of the wishing trees shining with the reflected gold light.
The sun itself is not visible, but its rays joyfully play with its glare all over the canvas, both in the river and in the cirrus clouds in the serene blue sky. With this game of festive colors, “brown with ocher” slightly contrasts, the color of the steep bank in the foreground, darkened, apparently, thatched barn's thatched roof that was wet from past rains. But the light-golden crowns of trees, beyond which the river disappears, complementing the general gamut, affirm us in a light, joyful mood.
Nature on the canvas does not "wither", it rejoices in autumn, its outfits of golden brocade. And the three main, dominant colors of this picture - gold, blue, blue with the addition of a little greenery - these are all colors of joy, the colors of the fullness of life.
Picture Shishkin Pines Illuminated by the Sun