Sunday, June 7, 2009

About stars

From the description:
An old Russian romance sung against a backdrop of landscape paintings by the 19th century Russian artist Isaak Levitan (who is considered the finest landscape artist in the Russian milieu).
Click on the link in the quote for translation of the song (just to warn: in Russian, the lyrics sound very romantic and poetic; in English — somewhat silly and cheesy).

I like the part about a “Russian” artist Isaac Levitan. From Wikipedia article:
Isaac Levitan was born in a shtetl of Kybartai, Kaunas region, Lithuania, into a poor but educated Jewish family. His father Elyashiv Levitan was the son of a rabbi, completed a Yeshiva and was self-educated. He taught German and French in Kaunas and later worked as a translator at a railway bridge construction for a French building company. At the beginning of 1870 the Levitan family moved to Moscow.

In September 1873, Isaac Levitan entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture where his older brother Avel had already studied for two years. After a year in the copying class Isaac transferred into a naturalistic class, and soon thereafter into a landscape class. Levitan's teachers were the famous Alexei Savrasov, Vasily Perov and Vasily Polenov.

In 1875, his mother died, and his father fell seriously ill and became unable to support four children; he died in 1879. The family slipped into abject poverty. As patronage for Levitan's talent and achievements, his Jewish origins and to keep him in the school, he was given a scholarship.
…and the rest is history.

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