For Pyotr Petrovichev, who had come to Moscow from the provinces, his first years of study there were a very difficult time. He fell behind in all his subjects, and was on the verge of failing completely, while exhibitions of his paintings were never a success - he lived in great hardship and distress. That all changed when the landscape classes started. His teacher, Isaac Levitan, could see Petrovichev’s talent, and soon this failing student had become a favourite. Levitan praised his ability in his plein air painting to choose just the right motif for a sketch, and extolled him as an example for the rest of the students, "Look, just look at Petrovichev! I came, I saw, and I was amazed." Petrovichev took the subject for "The Park of Tolstoy’s Estate in Khamovniki" from his teacher, and the similarity with Levitan’s famous "Apple Trees in Blossom" is obvious - Petrovichev would later offer this subject to his own students.