Isaac Levitan

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    Isaac Levitan


    Isaac Levitan was born on August 30th, 1830. He lived in the small town of Kibarty and belonged to a Jewish family. His father, Ilya Abramobich, was the son of an educated man, who worked as a German and French tutor, and later worked for a private construction company. But Isaac's family was poor, for which Isaac's mother struggled to take care of Issac and his three siblings, Abel, Teresa, and Emma. Despite their poor financial condition, they always encouraged both their sons to take an interest in art and take it forward. Young Issac often went out to paint trees and grass.

    Early life and career

    To make their lives better, the Levitan's moved to Koscoy in the 1870s. In 1873, he enrolled himself in a very modern and progressive school in Moscow to learn painting, architecture, and sculpture at the age of 13. Isaac followed in his brother's footsteps. Moscow was the center of painting at that time and rejected European academic standards. Isaac had already gained attention for his talent in the school, and to reward him, the school awarded him with a box of brushes and Paints.

    In 1875, Isaac lost his mother and his father 1877, which made their financial condition worse. The sisters were married, so they didn't struggle. But the brothers faced a hard time finding basic housing. Isaac was constantly struggling for food and used to sleep with friends or relatives, even in the school's empty classroom. Isaac being a great artist and bright student, in 1877, the school paid his tuitions fee because of his extremely poor condition; they also helped him with purchasing paints and canvas.

    Isaac quickly progressed in landscape painting and joined the class of one of the famous landscape painters, Alexei, which was considered the most advanced art school. The teachers encouraged the students to study nature outside. They often held sessions outdoor in the morning light of spring. For Alexie, the painting was not just an outer appearance but the emotions behind it, and he took a personal interest in Isaac's work. Isaac's work appeared in the press for the first time in 1877 when his paintings were exhibited in the student section. In 1878 Jews were banned in the city, so Isaac was forced to leave school.

    Isaac traveled throughout Russia during the summer and took a keen interest in nature studies in his adult life, and then he returned to Moscow to paint in winter and spring. Being the favorite student of Alexie, Isaac developed a soft corner for nature. Most of his artworks were about the beauty of nature, devoid of human presence. "A small island with water as far as the eyes can see" was the touch of Isaac's work.

    Last period

    Isaac spent the last years of his life staying at his friend's house outside Moscow. He wasn't married, but he was involved in many affairs. In 1900 May, Isaac caught a cold and returned to Moscow. On July 22nd, Isaac died with 40 unfinished paintings and more than 300 sketches; due to a stressful life and starving childhood, he suffered from heart disease. Despite his difficult life, his works were filled with lights and reflections of tranquility. Hay-making was his last painting, and he had given his heart and soul to his paintings which made him the Master of the Russian painting.


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