Isaac Ilyich Levitan (1860-1900)

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Levitan, Eternal Peace, 1894

Eternal Peace, 1894

Levitan, Evening Bells, 1892

Evening Bells, 1892

Isaac Levitan is a well-known Russian landscape painter. Levitan escalated the genre of the “mood landscape”. Levitan was born in the Kaunsas region of Lithuania to a Jewish family. Levitan’s father was a rabbi and translator for railway company. In 1870 Levitan’s family relocated to Moscow, Russia.

Levitan, Lake


Levitan, Peasant Cottages

Peasant Cottages

Levitan followed in his brother’s footsteps, attending the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. As a student, Levitan was fortunate enough to study under great names in Russian art, including, Alexei Savrasov, Vasily Perov and Vasily Polenov. Levitan took a number of foundation courses before finding his talent at landscape painting. After the death of his parents in 1875 and 1879, Levitan lost funding for his education. As a reward for Levitan’s exemplary work, he was awarded a full scholarship to complete his studies.

Levitan, Twilight Moon

Twilight Moon

Levitan, Autumn, 1889

Autumn, 1889

Levitan, Oak Tree

Oak Tree

Levitan, Evening on the Volga

Evening on the Volga

Levitan exhibited for the first time in 1877, gaining attention from the Moscow press. Levitan’s family was urged to leave the city for brief amount of time in 1879, as hostility towards Jews began to mount. When Levitan returned a year later, he sold his first painting.

Levitan, In the Sun, Babkino

In the Sun, Babkino

Levitan, Golden Autumn

Golden Autumn

Levitan, Jesién w Sokolnikach

Jesién w Sokolnikach

Levitan, Vladimirka Road

Vladimirka Road

Levitan, March


Levitan, Birch Forest

Birch Forest

Levitan, The Watermill Sunset

The Watermill Sunset

By 1891, Levitan joined a group of artists, known as the Peredvizhniki partnership, participating in group exhibitions around Russia. Levitan associated with former classmates, Konstantin Korovin, Mikhail Nesterov, Fyodor Shekhtel and Nikolai Chekhov, who also received noticeable attention for their strong work. Levitan often collaborated with his friends to illustrate publications or design opera sets.

Levitan is best known for his depictions of the Russian landscape, painting rural settings, and emotion-filled skies. While Levitan did not paint urban scenes, he often painted in the outskirts of Moscow.

By 1897, Levitan’s reputation not only spread nationally, but around the world. Levitan was appointed to a position at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Russia, and headed the Landscape Studio at his former University in Moscow. Levitan’s work is continuously admired in his home country of Russia and around the world. Do you think you own a painting by Isaac Levitan? Contact us. We are the experts on Isaac Levitan.