Another work of the outstanding Russian landscape painter, Isaac Levitan, from a series of studies done in pastel technique. Pastel, as you know, is a very soft friable material, through which you can create airy, vague, delicate work, and without going into detail, convey a lot.
The painting White Lilac is one of a series of numerous sketches of the artist, showing us his magnificent talent in quick and amazing sketches. It depicts a gentle staircase leading to the terrace of a manor house.
The lush bushes of the blossoming snow-white lilac, spread out on both sides of the path, as if inviting us to enter the house. In the mysterious evening light of dusk, the clusters appear sky blue, their whiteness is so bright, they seem to glow, having absorbed the radiance of the passing May day. Smooth, delicate, almost transparent shadows give a special mystery.
The light has not yet been lit in the house - it is still not dark enough to sit with the light, but not so light as to sit without it. We see in the black windows a reflection of the still-burning sky, the dying sky. It’s getting damp, cool. The air cools, dew appears. A fog begins to creep above the grass (a blue speck in the lower left part of the picture, behind the lilac), the colors are condensed.
One cannot but notice how subtly the artist managed to show the evening air, how accurately he conveys the state of twilight. It is quite difficult to depict twilight, because when an artist writes a work, he himself suffers from a lack of light and paint, he can fail and deceive him; In addition, twilight lasts minutes, it gets dark very quickly. Therefore, it can be stated with accuracy that this study was completed quickly, no more than within a quarter of an hour!
Arkady Plastov Pictures