Eye Candy for Today: Levitan’s Birch Grove

Birch Grove, landscapepainting by Russian painter Isaac Levitan
Birch Grove, landscapepainting by Russian painter Isaac Levitan (details)

Birch Grove, by Isaac Levitan, oil on paper mounted to canvas, roughly 12 x 20 inches (30 x 50 cm). Link is to image page on WikiArt (click “View all Sizes” for access to large image); original is in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

This is a beautiful and widely recognized landscape painting by the brilliant 19th century Russian painter.

I love everything about this — the dappled shade, the feeling of summer, the strong value relationships, the compositional arrangement of the birch trunks, the delicate accents of color on them and the depth created by their variation in width.

For painters who complain of “too much green” when painting trees and foliage in mid to late summer, I present to you a textbook example of how “too much green” can be taken into the realm of the sublime.

 
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