The scandalous story "The Grasshopper": because of what Levitan was going to cause a duel Chekhov

• The scandalous story "The Grasshopper": because of what Levitan was going to cause a duel Chekhov

Well-known landscape painter Isaac Levitan and the writer Anton Chekhov long been close friends, who are united by a sincere and trusting relationship. But after the publication of Chekhov's short story "The Grasshopper" unexpected scandal: heroes all easily know the artist and his lover, a married lady Sophia Kuvshinnikova. All Moscow bohemia discussed imposed on the audience the story of the real-life story of Chekhov called "libel", and Levitan was going to call a friend to a duel.

The scandalous story The scandalous story

Left - Levitan. Self-portrait, 1890. Right - A. Stepanov. Portrait SP Kuvshinnikova, the end of the 1880s.

In 1880-ies. among Moscow bohemia name Sophia Kuvshinnikova was widely known - she was the mistress of a literary and artistic salon, which is visited by Repin, A. Chekhov, Mikhail Yermolov, V. Giljarovsky A. Ugine and many other famous actors, artists and writers. Once "on the watchtower" (The apartment is located under the roof of the fire tower) brought the young painter Isaac Levitan. Despite more than ten years' difference in their ages, the hostess cabin became romantically involved with him.

The scandalous story

Left - Levitan. Self-portrait, 1890. Right - A. Stepanov. Portrait SP Kuvshinnikova, the end of the 1880s.

In 1880-ies. among Moscow bohemia name Sophia Kuvshinnikova was widely known - she was the mistress of a literary and artistic salon, which is visited by Repin, A. Chekhov, Mikhail Yermolov, V. Giljarovsky A. Ugine and many other famous actors, artists and writers. Once "on the watchtower" (The apartment is located under the roof of the fire tower) brought the young painter Isaac Levitan. Despite more than ten years' difference in their ages, the hostess cabin became romantically involved with him.

The scandalous story

Serov. Portrait of the artist Isaac Levitan, 1893Cofya Kuvshinnikova was married to a police doctor who was patient for a long time and a blind eye to her affair with Levitan. She was an artist-lover, and under the pretext of painting lessons often go with their teacher to the Volga - the sketches. The hero of Chekhov's story artist Ryabovsky also gave lessons Olga Ivanovna, the wife of Dr. Osip Dimov, they also went to the Volga in the sketches, and had a long love affair between them. In the rest of the characters themselves have learned many visitors Kuvshinnikova salon.

The scandalous story

Stepanov. Left - * And. Levitan and S. Kuvshinnikova walking Pleso *. Right - * And. Levitan and S. Kuvshinnikova sketching *, the end of the 1880s.

Czechs defended himself as best he could: "Can you imagine, - he wrote in a letter in 1892, - a friend of my 42-year-old lady who recognize themselves in my two decades of heroin" Grasshopper, "and I was all Moscow accuses of libel. The main piece of evidence - physical resemblance: the lady writes paints, her husband is a doctor and she lives with the artist. "

The scandalous story

Left - S. Kuvshinnikova, mid-1880s. Right - Levitan, photo 1898

However, the similarity was not only in appearance: almost verbatim an excerpt from her letters, Chekhov's The Grasshopper in the speech used Kuvshinnikova favorite expression, it was as extravagant and original, although it is much more frivolous and superficial than its prototype. The writer tried to joke: "My pretty Grasshopper, and after Sofia Petrovna is not so beautiful and young."

The scandalous story

On the left - Levitan, photo 1884 Right - Levitan, photo 1890

Levitan was so angry that he wanted to call Chekhov to a duel, but friends dissuaded him from this rash decision. For a few years of their fellowship stopped. Levitan relationship with Kuvshinnikova too were doomed. The artist enjoyed great success with women, and in 1894 he began a new novel, also nearly ended tragically entangled in feelings Turchaninova Anna and her daughter, Levitan tried to commit suicide.

The scandalous story

Left - Sophia Kuvshinnikova. Photo. Right - Levitan. * Portrait of Sofia Petrovna Kuvshinnikova * 1888

After 1894 Levitan and Kuvshinnikova not seen anymore, but Sofia Petrovna always thought of him with warmth and gratitude. A relationship between friends managed to establish. Reconcile Chekhov and Levitan was able writer T. Shchepkina-Kupernik who arranged their meeting and made shake hands.

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* Sculpture * Summer Resident in Ples, which has a portrait likeness with Kuvshinnikova