Levitan is the most Russian of Russian artists, a singer of earth and sky, transmitting with his paintings an inner state of mind and believing that the greatest beauty is hidden in nature. Despite a beggarly childhood and hungry youth, he did not lose the ability to see the beautiful - a faithful eye, an accurate hand, attention to detail and the ability to see beauty where no one else could see it made anyone great.
“Cloudy Day” is one of his landscapes — and Levitan painted landscapes exclusively, as if focusing on the only thing that deserves his attention. He depicts a simple village - several houses, a log house, fences and trodden paths, which from the first rain will spread into wet porridge.
Trees sway from the wind, touching the sky with branches, a forest is visible in the distance, which, like a wall, encloses a tiny settlement from the rest of the world. The sky is cloudy, not even a glimpse of the sun is visible. It hangs low above the ground, laid wide and generous strokes, and in the evening, probably, be born rain. Like a wet blanket, it covers the ground.
A man is walking along the road - his figure is outlined briefly, barely, with a couple of strokes, as if for the artist he was nothing more than a part of the landscape, like a leaf or a peg in a fence, as if he was only a natural part of the world and there was no need to pay too much attention to him. People in Levitan’s paintings appear only in this position - they exist, they are outlined vividly and simply, but attention is not focused on them. They are part, not the best and not the worst.
The village is waiting for the rain to rain. All of it seems extinct, frozen in this expectation - this is how a person sometimes expects disaster, knowing that it will happen and having no way to take it aside.
Anxious expectation - this is the main mood that this picture conveys.