Isaak Levitan

The Vladmirka Road to Siberia

Vladmirka Road

The Vladimirka road is the road taken by the exiles to reach Siberia.

Levitan was probably making reference to his own exile, which occurred in the same period. Like many political prisoners, he had been evicted from Moscow because he was Jewish, and this experience would leave a profound mark on the painter's soul.

The sky and the fields are all part of the symbolic message that Levitan wants to render through his painting. Colors are dull and rather unattractive. Levitan chooses browns and dull greens so that nothing would stand out; the sky is blue-gray, cloudy, and unforgiving. There is no sun peeking from behind the clouds, as if the painter wanted to say that there is little hope for those who would take that road. The landscape is flat and, with the exception of the trees in the background, has no other vegetation except some sparse yellowish grass.

The road appears to have no end. Perhaps Levitan is trying to say that the prisoners are forever itinerants.

Description from Alexander Boguslawski's site.

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