In the famous landscape painting of I. Levitan, his modest place is occupied by the painting “The River in the Forest”. Place paintings in the works of Levitan modest only in comparison with the other masterpieces of the artist. In general, the “River in the Forest” fully creates the famous Levitan “landscape mood”, conveying the “poetry of the forest”.
A small glade with a forest river in the middle is surrounded by dense thickets. In the background, on the other bank of the river, the forest begins, on the edge of which stands a hut. Everything is simple, beautiful and expressive. As for expressiveness, let’s start with the river, which in the foreground, with its light movement and smooth surface, causes calm. As the main element of the foreground, it is through reflections on its surface, as it prepares us for the perception of the background – a dense forest with a hut. The glade from the foreground inward visually narrows and loses its significance. But the space is filled with forest, which is open in all its glory.
Trees and grass, due to the successful color combination, on the background of the river slightly give moisture. For grass is characterized by juiciness and freshness. Thanks to this, the summer smell of the forest is felt, its clean and fresh air.
From the light green color of the foreground, the author switches to a dark green color to convey the twilight of the forest. In general, the paint color is definitely muted.
Clouds hovering over the forest with disturbing shades contain a small hint of waiting for the rain.
As with the rest of the works of Levitan, there is also here, though not quite clearly, a person. This presence is transmitted through the pictured hut. But the most important human presence is felt through the experiences that arise when viewing the picture. The truly poetic beauty of nature, conveyed by a great artist, creates the impression that the landscape he depicts is the best place in the world. The same impression leaves the picture “River in the Forest.”