Levitan – “Cornflowers”

Isaac Levitan is known to everyone as a Russian landscape painter. In the painting “Cornflowers” we see an unusual image for him – a still life.

The artist did not paint a single detail around the flowers that would distract the viewer or which he could catch his eye. Divinely beautiful cornflowers are all that is paid attention to. Simple wildflowers are stunning in their magnificence. Common cornflowers, it would seem, are the same, very similar to each other. But each cornflower flower attracts separate attention to itself. Each has its own, special shade. Here, the viewer will appreciate rich blue cornflowers, and a slight purple hue, and blue, and pink, even white.

All flowers have different lengths. It may seem that the bouquet is assembled in a hurry, without much attention. Together with cornflowers, you can see a couple of spikelets of wheat – it is unlikely that they were put in a vase on purpose, they probably got into the bouquet through inattention.

But it is this negligence that carries a special charm. There is no obsession in the bouquet, no pathos. Ordinary flowers are simply pleasing to the eye, without claiming any title.

The cornflowers were placed in an ordinary greenish clay pot. Holiday vases are not suitable for such flowers. Against the background of an ordinary pot, the shades of flowers played even richer and brighter.

The table is covered with an ordinary light-colored tablecloth, on which a couple of petals have already fallen. Soon all cornflowers will crumble. The tablecloth merges with the wall of the same color. It seems that the flowers are just hanging in the air. This is how the artist captured in his fleeting beauty.

Year of painting: 1894. Dimensions: 62.3 x 47.7 cm. Material: cardboard. Writing technique: pastel. Genre: floral still life. Style: realism. Gallery: private collection.

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