Russian Wanderers


The above painting is by Isaak Levitan it is named:  Over Eternal Peace. Isaak Levitan is a painter in the Russian Wanderers ( Peredvizhniki) who is known for creating landscape paintings of Russia that invoke intense emotions.

I picked this particular piece because I feel it is showing the relative peace before the revolutions of 1905 and 1917. And because it also shows the importance of the Russian Orthodox Church to the people. It does this by having the subject of the painting a Russian Orthodox Church, and opens up to still water meaning there is more to life and even death if you accept the Russian Orthodoxy way of life. This painting does not show the strength of the Russian Orthodox Church but of the beliefs and way of life it represents.


8 thoughts on “Russian Wanderers

  1. I agree with you about the point you made about peace. This painting really is peaceful. Also, notice how the painting starts to get darker further in the horizon. I wonder if that could be some symbolism of the storm coming? What year was this painted?


  2. Another one of my favorite paintings! Thanks so much for writing about this work by Levitan. I like your reflection on the significance of the church on the point of land. I’m also struck by how small and almost inconsequential the church seems in comparison to the vastness of the grey sky and the river that stretches to the horizon. Where is eternity?


  3. That’s a really nice painting. Do you think there’s any significance to the placement of the church up on the hill? Maybe the artist is trying to say something about the position of the church with regards to Russia. In my opinion, I think it’s interesting that the church is literally the highest point in the painting and everything else is beneath it. Do you think I’m over analyzing or is there something to this?


  4. Mark, I think there is something to what you are saying, the Church at the time was very highy regarded because it was the very foundation of society and Russian identity, to be Russian was to be Orthodox.


  5. I love the painting you chose for your post, like Dr. Nelson said earlier, the vastness of the grey color used really adds to the effect of the tiny church in the front of the picture.


  6. Similar to what other people have stated, I think it is interesting how the Church is portrayed in this painting. The orthodox church was such a dominating institution in Russian culture and yet it is depicted as almost empty, all alone atop a hill surrounded by a large body of water separating it from the mainland. Do you think that the artist intentionally picked this perspective to depict just how out of touch the Russian church and by extension the Russian people were to the rest of Europe?


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