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Fine Art/Art in Dr. Zhivago


Dear Sir:

I am desperately trying to find the name of the painting/artist for a specific piece of art in the movie Dr. Zhivago.  My parents have loved this piece of artwork for years and I'd like to buy a copy of the painting for them for Christmas.

The painting in question is of birch trees.  It's in the film's background during the opening credits and is slowly zoomed in on until it nearly fills the screen.

I have searched for nearly 5 months on google using every phrase imaginable with no luck.  

I'm hoping you might be able to help identify this painting.

Thank you in advance for whatever help you can provide.

Kind Regards,
Mark H.

Dear Mark, It has been a hundred years since I have seen Dr. Zhivago, and don't recall the painting at all. However it may be "The Birch Grove" by the important Russian artist Isaak Ilych Levitan (1860-1900), oil on paper on canvas, approximately 12 x 22 inches. Not dated, but certainly before the Revolution. The painting is in the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, inventory #15511.
Anton Chekhov said of the artist, "Before Levitan no one approached such an amazing simplicity and clarity of motif as he has recently done. I don't really know whether anyone will approach this after him." You can find an image of the painting in Google-Images under Isaak Levitan.
I hope you can find a print, it would be a great surprise for your parents.

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Daniel A. Hynes


Collecting, buying, selling, identifying, and caring for paintings, drawings,and watercolors (19th and early 20th century American and European). No prints, contemporary art, or works executed after 1940.


35 years as a fine art dealer, including 3 years as a gallery director. Also was art expert for Leslie Hindman's Auctioneers, and for Dunning's Auction.

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