At the height and end of this artistic period, like a cathedral with two spires, the one symbolising eternal love and the other the hatred of the world, stands Resurrection (1899).
All these works are distinguished from their predecessors by new artistic qualities. Tolstoy’s ideas had suffered a change, not alone in respect of the object of art, but also in respect of its form. In reading What is Art? or Shakespeare we are struck by the principles of art which Tolstoy has enounced in these two books; for these principles are for the most part in contradiction to the greatest of his previous works. “Clearness, simplicity, conciseness,” we read in What is Art? Material effects are despised; minute realism is condemned; and in Shakespeare the classic ideal of perfection and proportion is upheld. “Without the feeling of balance no artists could exist.” And although in his new work the unregenerate man, with his genius for analysis and his native savagery, is not entirely effaced, some aspects of the latter quality being even emphasised, his art is profoundly modified in some respects: the design is clearer, more vigorously accented; the minds of his characters are epitomised, fore-shortened; the interior drama is intensified, gathered upon itself like a beast of prey about
much in common with the art of Tolstoy’s maturity (Family Happiness, War and Peace). The macabre quality of the end, and the last pages comparing the body of the old horse with that of his master, are full of a realistic brutality characteristic of the years after 1880.