Haystacks are a popular motif in the art of that era; it suffices to recall Claude Monet’s series on this subject. Levitan also develops this motif from a sketch to different variants, but his emotional intonation is different. The dormant haystacks in the twilight resemble ancient menhirs. Their solemn station helps to plunge into the contemplation of the moon, located in the center of the canvas. Working on the composition, Levitan sought to achieve a smooth circular rhythm that would focus the viewer’s attention. The mood of a numinous mystery is furthered by the harmonious tonal structure of the canvas. Everything is wrapped in a glaucescent-purple twilight that dissipates only in the upper part of the sky. Working with a wide brush, Levitan paints in a generalised way, avoiding detalisation, which gives a monumental resonance to this small canvas.
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