Author Archives: Serge Gregory

Itinerant Painters Group Portrait 1899

While organizing my notes for the chapter covering 1899, I came across the following chronological listing: “March 6. Levitan was photographed in St. Petersburg in a group of 19 Itinerant painters.” I went online to find the photograph using the … Continue reading

Posted in Homes and Museums, Itinerant Society, Moscow School of Painting | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Levitan: Professor of Art

While Levitan is not well known outside of Russia, there is a small group of people in the U.S. and abroad who have long been inspired by his work: plein air painters. Unfortunately it’s very rarely possible to see his … Continue reading

Posted in Homes and Museums, Moscow School of Painting | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sergei Morozov’s 2,000 Rubles

When Levitan found out in early May 1897 about Chekhov’s coughing up of blood and 15-day stay at a Moscow clinic, he himself was on his way to the brine baths of Bad Nauheim in Germany for treatment of his … Continue reading

Posted in Circle of Friends, Lika Mizinova | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Maupassant’s “Fort comme la mort”

When Levitan sought out Maria Chekhova’s sympathy for the messy affair of having both Anna Turchaninova and her daughter Varvara fall in love with him in the summer of 1896, she shot back angrily that perhaps he had been reading … Continue reading

Posted in Circle of Friends, Maria Chekhova, Sophia Kuvshinnikova | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Levitan and Diaghilev

Sergei Diaghilev is most well-known as the impresario of the Ballets Russes based in Paris between 1909 and 1929. So it may come as a surprise to learn that in the late 1890’s he played an influential role in supporting … Continue reading

Posted in Circle of Friends, Impressionism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Averil King’s “Isaak Levitan: Lyrical Landscape”

Until my book comes out in the fall of 2015, King’s book is the only readily available work in English on Levitan. It was first published in 2004, expanded in a beautiful new edition by the Antique Collectors’ Club in … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sophia Kuvshinnikova’s Diary

People had widely divergent opinions of Sophia Kuvshinnikova, who was Levitan’s mistress from sometime in the late 1880s until 1894. Chekhov found her to be a social gadfly and couldn’t forgive her for cuckolding her husband, a hard-working and unassuming … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, Circle of Friends, Sophia Kuvshinnikova, Tatiana Shchepkina-Kupernik | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Status Report

Since I’ve been silent for a while, I thought now would be a good time to write about my progress. I’ve just finished writing the first draft of Chapter 8, which covers the very tumultuous yet creatively productive year 1895. … Continue reading

Posted in Status Report | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Origins of “The Seagull”

While Chekhov and Levitan were renewing their friendship in January 1895, Lika Mizinova sat alone and despondent in Paris caring for her two-month-old infant. Frustrated by Chekhov’s rejection of her love, she had started an affair with the writer Potapenko … Continue reading

Posted in Lika Mizinova, Maria Chekhova | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Pavel Chekhov’s Diary

One of the most valuable primary sources from Chekhov’s Melikhovo years (1892-1898) is the diary kept by his father, Pavel Egorovich Chekhov. His children found his laconic, seemingly random entries to be unintentionally hilarious. Here’s a sample: September 7, 1894: … Continue reading

Posted in Melikhovo, Tatiana Shchepkina-Kupernik | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment