Antosha and Levitasha: The Shared Lives and Art of Anton Chekhov and Isaac Levitan - NIU Series in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (Paperback)Serge Gregory (author)
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Antosha and Levitasha is the first book in English devoted to the complex relationship between Anton Chekhov and Isaac Levitan, one of Russia's greatest landscape painters. Outside of Russia, a general lack of familiarity with Levitan's life and art has undermined an appreciation of the cultural significance of his friendship with Chekhov. Serge Gregory's highly readable study attempts to fill that gap for Western readers by examining a friendship that may have vacillated between periods of affection and animosity, but always reflected an unwavering shared aesthetic.
In Russia, where entire rooms of galleries in Moscow and St. Petersburg are devoted to Levitan's paintings, the lives of the famous writer and the equally famous artist have long been tied together. To those familiar with the work of both men, it is evident that Levitan's "landscapes of mood" have much in common with the way that Chekhov's characters perceive nature as a reflection of their emotional state. Gregory focuses on three overarching themes: the artists' similar approach to depicting landscape; their romantic and social rivalries within their circle of friends, which included many of Moscow's leading cultural figures; and the influence of Levitan's personal life on Chekhov's stories and plays. He emphasizes the facts of Levitan's life and his place in late nineteenth-century Russian art, particularly with respect to his dual loyalties to the competing Itinerant and World of Art movements. Accessible and engaging, Antosha and Levitasha will appeal to scholars and general readers interested in art history, late nineteenth-century Russian culture, and biographies.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
"There is rich material in this study. Gregory was right to unpick this relationship. From the point of view of Chekhov studies, Levitan is too often neglected. From the point of view of Levitan studies, this is an artist whose position astride the two most significant movements in Russian painting of the late nineteenth century, 'The Itinerants' and the World of Art, is ripe for investigation and appreciation."* Slavonic and East European Review *
"This meticulously researched and readable book is a chronological account of the contacts, friendship, common pursuits, rivalries, and professional work of Anton Chekhov and Isaac Levitan-two pivotal figures in Russian literature and art.... The book gives us abundant information about various aspects of the two artists' friendship and the backgrounds to their compositions."* The Russian Review *
"The breadth of Antosha and Levitasha is astonishing, and the biographical details brought to light by Gregory's meticulous research will prove invaluable for scholars of both Levitan and Chekhov, and their respective artistic productions. As a whole, Serge Gregory's Antosha and Levitasha stands as a rich testimony of their relationship and late nineteenth-century Russia."* H-Net Reviews *
"Through meticulous scholarship and fine writerly craft, Gregory offers a riveting story of two creative geniuses at work."* Slavonic and East European Journal *
"Very compelling... The book is laid out wonderfully, and Gregory's chronological tags never fail to reinforce understanding of when we are. Gregory's focus throughout is masterful."* Inside Higher Ed *
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