Spring floods repeatedly attracted Levitan’s attention, often acquiring an alarming sound. In this painting, the artist moves away from sad thoughts about the power of nature’s elemental forces. The whole landscape is hinged on musical and rhythmic relations. The linear and planar basis, stemming from the decorative nature of Art Nouveau, becomes more prominent. The smooth outlines of the shore find an echo in the flexible birch trunks and their reflections, which is why the water surface spread before the viewer acquires the outlines of a graceful vessel. The tree trunks are rippling smoothly elongating through their reflections; some shadows are creeping along the shore. Somewhere at the horizon banyas (Russian saunas) are sailing past, the river course has washed a boat ashore. These motifs are connected with the theme of pilgrimage, abandonment, dissolution of the human soul in nature. The stunted birches, young oak and spruce, joining in an expressive ornamental motif, are straining after the light. The transparent spring forest is covered with a pinkish fluff of wakening foliage. Nature seems to be basking in the gentle sunlight.
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