Concrete, artificial stone
The names of A.P. Chekhov and I. Levitan are inextricably linked with the Istra land. The stay of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov in Voskresensk (name of the Istra City in past) and Babkino played a big role in the life of the writer and had a huge impact on his work. He first visited Voskresensk in 1981, when he came to visit his brother Ivan. Three years later, having received the position of a doctor, he moved here to work in the Resurrection Hospital. Later, having met the Kiselev family, Chekhov began renting a dacha from them in the village of Babkino.
On the other side of the Istra River, there is the village of Maksimovka, wherein 1885 Isaac Levitan, who came to study sketches, settled. The artist has long been familiar with the Chekhov family. He studied at the School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture with Chekhov's brother Nikolai. Levitan mostly uses to spend his day time in sketching, and in the evening he visits the Kiselev estate, where he constantly participate in all the village pleasures and soon moved there for residence.
The artist has never been surrounded by such a cheerful, intelligent, gifted society. Going for walks through the endless Babkin forests, in long hunting wanderings, in conversations and heated disputes about literature and painting, the strong friendship between Chekhov and Levitan developed. They were attracted to each other by the kinship of tastes and the unity of interests.
Not far from the place where the Kiselevs' estate stood, which, unfortunately, has not survived to this day, there is a memorial stone with an inscription on a marble tablet: “In 1885-1887 years in the village Babkino lived A.P. Chekhov and I.I. Levitan ". A plaster monument to the writer existed for some time near the sign, but it was destroyed by the environment and vandals. Therefore, the villagers turned to the administration of the Istra district with a request to restore the monument.
The initiative was supported! And thanks to the sponsorship of businessman Aras Agalarov, sculptor Sergey Kazantsev created a new monument. The main wish of the district leadership to the author was the anti-vandal resistance of the monument. Therefore, the sculptor decided to make it of artificial stone with a high relief ranging three meters high, two and a half meters wide and half a meter thick.
Opening of the monument “A.P. Chekhov and I. Levitan” took place in autumn 2008. On the high relief, Chekhov and Levitan are depicted against the background of the Istra River and landscape representing the creative nature of the artists. Levitan is in front of the painting facing the writer who is sitting with a book, seems like they are in conversation. The attention is needed to focus the relief in between the gap-hole of the characters. If you observe closely, especially against the background of the blue sky, you will observe the Istra River, whose waters go beyond the composition, immersing the viewer in an atmosphere of inspiration and creativity, which Chekhov and Levitan so cherished when working on the Istra land.
Address: Russia, Moscow region, Istra district, Babkino village