Isaac Ilyich Levitan (1860 - 1900)
4 August 2025 - 125 years since his death
Isaac Ilyich Levitan, 30 August 1860 – 4 August 1900,
classical Russian landscape painter.
Characteristic of his work is a hushed and nearly melancholic reverie amidst pastoral landscapes largely devoid of human presence.
In the 1890s, Levitan had an on-again, off-again affair with an older married woman; the painter Sofia Kuvshinnikova. She, Levitan and her husband travelled together and were considered a ménage a trois.
The playwright Anton Chekhov was also a close friend of Sofia's and may have had strong affections for her. According to the memoirs of Chekhov's brother, Mikhail, the situation almost led to a duel with Levitan, but it was avoided thanks to the intercession of a mutual friend.