The motif of Russian autumn is often encountered throughout the career of Isaac Levitan, a master of the lyrical landscape.
The traditional gathering of autumn leaves, the special transparency of the air and the feeling of sorrow at the passage of summer found a lively response in the art ist’s soul. Animating the world of nature with subtle emotions, Levitan creates a mood landscape, expressing the beauty of nature with the help of rich and complex paintwork. Growing among the peasant allotments divided by a narrow, stooping hedge, the young birch tree shows off its still magn ificent fol iage. This is the most active patch of paint in the entire canvas, uniting the slightly muffled tones of the rest of the colour orchestra. Mikhail Nesterov wrote that Levitan managed to convey the “modest and innermost concealed in each Russian landscape — its soul and charm.” Golden Autumn. Slobodka was shown at the Sezession exhibition of 1898.