FATHER OF THE TOWN. Ivan Aivazovsky and Feodosia: A Lifelong Attachment

Dmitry Losev

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The artistic accomplishments of Ivan Aivazovsky gained him renown throughout Russia, as well as further afield in Europe and America. Yet for all such international fame, his attachment to Feodosia, the small town in Crimea where he was born in 1817 and where he would spend the greater part of his life, never diminished: he was a model citizen, whose contributions to the development of Feodosia remain appreciable today.

 

The Painting Remained Unfinished

The final spring of the artist's life, 1900, passed in his native Feodosia, without particular note. Towards the end of March, tender new leaves appeared on the trees, almond blossoms bloomed, and the young poplars lining Yekaterininsky Prospect reached vigorously for the dazzling blue sky. A steam engine puffed its way heavily past his famous home-turned-gallery, taking wagons of grain to the commercial port. At the nearby “Bridge of Sighs”, workmen were busy building the first municipal baths. On Italianskaya Street, the owners of the fashionable shops put up their new signs.

Ivan Aivazovsky had been back in Feodosia since April. “This sense that I get is something of a habit, second nature. I can happily spend the winter in St. Petersburg... But the moment spring is in the air, I start to miss my native parts and I yearn to be back in the Crimea, by the Black Sea,” the artist would say.[1]

In March, a major solo exhibition of Aivazovsky's work had been held in St. Petersburg: it would be the last in his lifetime.[2] To honour the artist's oeuvre and his role in the development of Russian painting, on 18 March the Imperial Academy of Arts decided to institute a special “Aivazovsky scholarship”: grants were to be made available to talented young people from Feodosia and its surrounding areas, who wished to receive an education in art.

Upon arrival in Crimea, the artist quickly fell into his usual Feodosia routine, holding a series of important meetings. He also began to prepare for a trip to Italy: “I have produced a lot of paintings this year. My 82 years are forcing me to hurry somewhat,” he told Nikolai Kuzmin, his biographer. His wish to return to the Italian cities he so loved was, it seemed, about to come true. “I have definitely decided to go to Italy this year and I am now in anticipation of this trip to Rome and Naples. I will spend three months or so there this autumn and winter. In 1841, my European fame had its beginning there, so now, 58 years later, I hope to work there once more, like in the days of my youth and early hopes. Will I be able to make such an impression on Naples as I did back then, however...”[3]

In his energy and vigour, Aivazovsky remained ever youthful. An exceptionally hard worker, the great marine artist was extremely active even in his eighties. The morning of 18 April saw him working on his painting “Exploding Ship” (1900, Aivazovsky Picture Gallery, Feodosia), which depicts a scene from the Greco-Turkish War. Several more hours' work was needed to complete the painting: Aivazovsky planned to do that the following day.[4] After lunch on April 18, he went for his customary walk, then visited some friends, staying with them until late. That night, the painter died. His death was sudden; the “Exploding Ship” remained unfinished.[5]

News of the great painter's death travelled fast. In the early hours of April 19 (May 2, by the New Style) it flew around Feodosia, with all the main Russian newspapers printing the story. The realization, however, that Feodosia had also lost one of its most active citizens, a true patriot and “father of the town” second to none, was somewhat slower in coming.

For three days, the church bells of Feodosia sounded their farewell to the artist. The main hall of the Picture Gallery, where visitors came to pay their last respects, was filled with wreaths; Aivazovsky had been the first person ever to be made an Honoured Citizen of Feodosia. For three days, people kept coming, with several official delegations, including one from the Armenian diaspora: the painter had Armenian roots. The funeral service on April 22 was led by Bishop Khoren Stepanian.

The funeral procession stretched from the artist's house to the medieval Armenian church of St. Sarkis. The entire route was strewn with flowers, and all the street lamps in the area were covered with veils of mourning. Aivazovsky was buried in the courtyard of the church. The local garrison took part in the service, according, in an exceptional tribute, military funeral honours to the artist.

 

“For a Bright, Prosperous Future...”

More than a century has passed since those sad days of 1900. By now, Ivan Aivazovsky's place in Russian and world art has come to be more fully appreciated. As if foreseeing the lukewarm comments that followed the artist's death, Ivan Kramskoi had stressed, while Aivazovsky was still alive: “Whatever anyone might say, Aivazovsky is a star of the very greatest magnitude.”[6]

Blessed with exceptional talent, Aivazovsky was fortunate to receive an excellent education. In his 60 years of work, he came to receive popular acclaim, and his work remains popular to this day. Many came to know and love his paintings whilst still at school: his “Ninth Wave” is one of the paintings reproduced in Russian-language textbooks. Later, art lovers would view his works in Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery or St. Petersburg's Russian Museum. Those who are fortunate enough to visit Feodosia can, of course, fully indulge their interest by visiting the local Picture Gallery, founded by Aivazovsky himself. This houses the largest collection of his works, with over 400 pieces in all, 141 of them oils.[7] In accordance with the painter's will, in 1900 the gallery passed into municipal ownership.

“It is my sincere wish that the building housing my Picture Gallery in the town of Feodosia, with all the paintings, statues and other works of art that it contains, pass into complete ownership of the town of Feodosia; thus, in memory of myself, Aivazovsky, I bequeath [the gallery] to my native town,” the artist wrote.[8]

Much is known of Aivazovsky's great canvases and of his creative journey as a painter. His tireless efforts to improve life in Feodosia, however, are less common knowledge. Among Russian artists, Aivazovsky is perhaps the only truly prominent social benefactor and patron. Throughout his entire life, the painter invested a significant part of his savings in the wellbeing of his native region. Easily able to live and work in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Italy or, indeed, in any other European country, Aivazovsky chose instead to remain in his beloved provincial town of Feodosia.

Aivazovsky always believed in a bright future for Feodosia. “Whether because my soul is so fond of that dear place where I was born and spent my childhood, or because of that fateful verse, ‘the smoke of the fatherland is sweet and pleasant to us,' in the distant future I see a clean and neat Feodosia... a pleasant little town with everything it needs for a bright and prosperous future - of this, I am sure,” Aivazovsky enthused in an article published in “Russkaya Starina” (Old Times in Russia) magazine in 1881.[9]

This was how the artist saw the future of his “little homeland”. Leading by his own example, he proved that Feodosia was worthy of a better fate. As his efforts showed, the level of wealth, comfort and development in the town depended in no small measure on the resolve and daily labours of its citizens.

 

The Triumph of Feodosia

The journalist Vasily Krivenko spent some time in Feodosia as Aivazovsky's house-guest. Impressed with his host, he left a detailed and colourful description of those days: “Ivan Konstantinovich was a lively and sociable host... One was never bored. The whole town gathered in his hospitable house: his door was always wide open. He loved his homeland, his little Feodosia. His fellow Feodosians, as far as I could see, were equally well-disposed towards him, and felt very proud of him. Among them, indeed, Ivan Konstantinovich appeared like something of an Old Testament patriarch. He not only loved his town, he possessed also an amazing capacity to pour this feeling into the hearts of visitors to Feodosia, both short-term tourists, like me, and weighty officials or influential social figures, on whom Feodosia's wellbeing depended in no small measure. Taking them for walks along the embankment or down some little side-street, he would share his ideas for future improvements: building a port and railway, organizing water supply from distant sources, planting trees on the nearby hills. Even people who knew nothing about Feodosia would gradually, inexorably become more and more involved in these plans, turning into staunch allies of Aivazovsky's.”[10]

One project of the painter's, into which he poured huge effort, was the building in Feodosia of a major commercial port. At first the government had dismissed this idea, which was championed by Feodosia activists, and had ruled in favour of Sevastopol. Upon discovering this, Aivazovsky set off for the capital and stated the case for Feodosia at the Ministry of the Navy - such was the story told by his contemporaries. In any event, the authorities revised their decision, and Feodosia became the site of large-scale construction.

In 1894, Aivazovsky created the canvas “The Triumph of Feodosia”, donating it to the Feodosia Public Assembly. The large painting measured three by four arshins (around 2.1 by 2.8 metres), and showed a woman in billowing white robes on a cliff, high above a raging sea. She grasps a flag, which she uses to fend off a flock of predatory black birds. In this way, Aivazovsky strove to portray Feodosia's victory over the “dark forces” hindering the town's prosperity and development. The main “enemies” were those opposed to the building of the port, which promised the town great benefits.[11] Between 1891 and 1895, the port of Feodosia was finally built, bringing with it rapid development. The painting, however, suffered a sad fate: in October 1905, it was destoyed in a fire in the Town Duma.[12]

Another of Aivazovsky's pet projects was the building of a railway to connect Feodosia with Central Russia. The appearance of Feodosia's commercial port raised the town's significance, prompting a branch line to be built from Dzhankoy. Well before its construction was over, the painter dedicated a large canvas, titled “The First Train in Feodosia” (1892, Aivazovsky Picture Gallery, Feodosia), to this historical development.

 

“From His Babbling Source, the Water He Took”

Aivazovsky was constantly aware of the needs of ordinary people in his native town. To help those living on the outskirts of Feodosia, where water was extremely scarce, in 1887 the artist decided to donate to the town “50,000 buckets of clean water daily, without charge”. The water was to be drawn from his estate of Subash. To thank the painter for his generous gift, in 1890 grateful Feodosians erected a special fountain, entitled “To a Kind Genius”, on one of the town's boulevards.

The fountain took the form of an elegant bronze sculpture of a woman standing on a pedestal. The woman held a shell, out of which water streamed into a stone cup before pouring into the main pool. An artist's palette, crowned with a laurel wreath and bearing the name of the fountain, lay nearby. Feodosians of the older generation have claimed that the female figure resembled the artist's wife, Anna Aivazovskaya, and indeed, Aivazovsky's generous donation was officially made in her name. In Soviet times, the sculpture was moved from the boulevard to the municipal gardens, where it was placed by the Tower of St. Constantine, part of an ancient Genoese fortress. During World War Two, the fountain was destroyed; in 2004 it was rebuilt, and once more became one of the main attractions of the old town. The new version also features a colonnade, and the inscription, “To the great Aivazovsky and to his pupils, from a grateful Feodosia”.

In 1888, two years before the “Kind Genius” fountain was built, Aivazovsky had constructed in the town's Novo-Bazarnaya Square another fountain, which was named after the artist. Designed in Eastern style, it featured a rectangular stone prism with a hipped wooden roof and elaborately carved eaves.[13] Both the design and the funds for construction were Aivazovsky's. Surviving to this day, this fountain reminds us of the town's generous benefactor, calling to mind an old local ditty which was still popular in Feodosia in the 1930s:

A fountain of pure marble
Aivazovsky put up.

From his babbling source,
The water he took.
See how the water runs!
See how the stream gushes!
Take a drink of water, please:
And remember Ivan Konstantinovich...[14]

Even before it was unveiled, the Town Duma decreed that the fountain be named in honour of Tsar Alexander III. Through the Minister of the Interior, an appeal was made to the monarch to this effect. “His Royal Highness, however, decreed that the fountain should bear my name,” Aivazovsky wrote. “The fountain in Eastern style is beautiful: I know of none other so elegant in Constantinople, or elsewhere. The proportions, especially, are magnificent.”[15]

The fountain's official name was determined by Royal Decree on 25 August 1888.[16] On September 18, a marble plaque was put up with the inscription: “Ivan Aivazovsky Fountain. 18.IX.1888”. Some fragments of an older plaque also remain, recalling the fountain's initial name, the “Emperor Alexander III Fountain” (the older inscription is now barely legible).

In 1896, a new monument was built opposite the fountain, a statue of Alexander III; with its appearance, the square was renamed ‘Alexandrovskaya”. The idea of erecting the statue belonged to Aivazovsky, who also raised the necessary funds.[17] In his memoirs, Yury Galabutsky (1863-1928), a teacher at the Feodosia boys' gymnasium,[18] recalls a stage of this process. Around that time, a well-known husband- and-wife pair of soloists from the Mariinsky Theatre, Nikolai and Medea Figner, were visiting Feodosia. ‘Aivazovsky invited the artistic duo to give a concert in his Gallery. A lot of people came to the event, and all the money raised was used to fund the erection of the statue. The singers were each given a painting; during the concert, these paintings were exhibited on the stage,” Galabutsky remembered.[19]

 

The Picture Gallery and the Museum of Antiquities

Aivazovsky himself designed many of the buildings associated with him in the area, including an exhibition space in Yalta, the house and summer studio at the Subash estate, and his main house and studio on Feodosia's Yekaterininsky Prospect.

His home, which later became part of the Feodosia Picture Gallery complex, remains one of the town's most elegant buildings. Designed to resemble an Italian Renaissance country villa, it was built between 1846 and 1847 by the sea, in an area which was then a suburb. The elegant main fagade featured sculptures of ancient gods, whilst the balcony above the entrance was decorated with gryphons. The central and left parts of the villa were constructed first, with the right part added later. In 1880, Aivazovsky had the main exhibition hall built onto his house, sited on what would later be named Gallereynaya Street.

In 1904, after Aivazovsky's death, the writer Nikolai Lender reminisced about his visits to Crimea and meeting the great artist: “Two names, ‘Aivazovsky' and ‘Feodosia', have long been indissolubly linked... Every step you take in Feodosia recalls Aivazovsky. The boulevard along the seafront is named after him, his big icon is in the church, and people come by the boatload to see his house and the Picture Gallery there. The artist bequeathed the Gallery to the town of Feodosia. It houses an artistic treasure of considerable proportions, and brings a certain income to the poor of Feodosia: the painter left instructions that the entry fees should go to Feodosia's needy.”[20]

The front garden of the painter's house now features a striking statue of Aivazovsky. Erected in 1930 thanks to the efforts of Nikolai Barsamov,[21] director of the Picture Gallery, it was created by the famous St. Petersburg sculptor Ilya Ginzburg, and funded through public subscription. Cast in bronze in Petrograd in 1914, in 1917 it was shown in an exhibition at the Imperial Academy of Arts. In Soviet times, its erection in Feodosia in 1930 was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Picture Gallery's opening.[22] The monument's pedestal bears the laconic inscription: “From Feodosia, to Aivazovsky”.

In 1871, the artist funded the construction of the new Museum of Antiquities. Situated on Mount Mithridat, it overlooked the house in which the artist had been born. Aivazovsky's artistic instinct concerning the style and location was flawless: the museum is a striking local landmark, a true focal point. The works were overseen by the architect Alexander Rezanov, a professor at the Imperial Academy of Arts, under whose management the project was executed magnificently. Reminiscent of the colonnade of the Parthenon, the museum took Feodosians back to the ancient times when their town was founded. Tragically, during World War Two, it was destroyed.

 

“You’re Ruining the Entire Street for Me!”

Aivazovsky always took a lively interest in Feodosia's town planning and architecture. In the 1880s, he was able to recommend to the well-known St. Petersburg journalist and publisher Alexei Suvorin the perfect spot to build a country house by the sea. Owner of the major national newspaper “Novoye Vremya” (New Time), Suvorin approved of the location and requested the artist to oversee the construction. Aivazovsky agreed, and, by 1888, the house was finished. The artist saw it as the pearl of the coast: recalling an old fortress in Eastern style, the estate featured arched windows and elegant domes.[23] Anton Chekhov paid Suvorin three extended visits there, in 1888, 1894 and 1896.[24]

It would, perhaps, be no exaggeration to say that Aivazovsky took an active interest in all the major construction projects and buildings of Feodosia. In his memoirs, Galabutsky recalled the following incident, somewhat typical, it seems, of the artist: “Aivazovsky usually spent the winter in St. Petersburg. One year, as he was returning to Feodosia, he was, as often happened, met two or three stations before Feodosia by some of his closest allies and acquaintances. They began, as always, by telling him the local news, which he listened to with the liveliest interest. Upon finding out that local resident N. had begun construction of a one-storey house in the main street, he became extremely anxious. Italianskaya Street should not be ruined with one-storey buildings! Upon returning home, without taking the time to rest, I.K. immediately summoned N.N., who of course, appeared immediately. ‘You're building a one-storey house? You should be ashamed of yourself! You are a man of means! You're ruining the entire street for me!' Much abashed, N. had his construction plans altered and agreed instead to build a two-storey house.”[25]

 

Feodosia Finds Join the Hermitage Museum’s Collection of Antiquities

Aivazovsky was among the first enthusiasts to conduct archaeological digs in Feodosia.[26] The artist had an eager desire to find evidence of his native town's ancient history and to prove its place among the important cultural centres of the ancient world. In April 1853, the Ministry of Appanages sent him 1,500 rubles and the tools necessary to conduct archaeological research.[27] Aivazovsky promptly hired local farmers for the project, which, he decided, would be overseen by his nephew, Levon Mazirov. Excavation of the burial mounds on Mount Tepe-Oba began in late June.

On 26 November, the Curator of the Museum of Antiquities Yevgeny de Villeneuve reported on the archaeological digs to the Odessa History and Antiquities Society: “Twenty-two burial mounds have been excavated.[28] Most of them were found to contain only broken amphorae, ash, coal and burned bones. In four mounds, we found the following objects: golden necklaces, earrings, the head of a woman, a chain with a sphinx, a sphinx with woman's head, the head of an ox, slabs; silver bracelets; clay statuettes, medallions, various vessels, a sarcophagus; silver and bronze coins.”[29]

Aivazovsky decided to send the best finds to the Imperial Hermitage.[30] To this day, they remain part of the famous museum's collection of antiquities. Professor of History Eleonora Petrova has summed up the archaeological digs conducted by Aivazovsky and his contemporaries: the excavation of “the sepulchres in the necropolis of ancient Feodosia, dating from the fifth to the third century BC, brought material proof of the fact that ancient Greek Theodosia, which was written about by writers of old, and which had hitherto been sought in various locations across Crimea, had in fact existed on the site of medieval Kaffa and 19th century Feodosia. The rare finds elicited much admiration and brought about a new interest in archaeology and in the history of the town.”[31]

The archaeological digs in ancient Feodosia, the majestic monument to Tsar Alexander III, the establishment in the town of a public library, the Museum of Antiquities on Mount Mithridat, the Kaznacheyev fountain in Bazarnaya Square, the opening of a concert hall, paintings with biblical themes and general care for the churches of Feodosia: these were just some of the projects that Aivazovsky undertook for his native town. To this day, people remember his involvement with local charities and boards of trustees of educational establishments, as well, of course, as the opening in 1880 of the Feodosia Picture Gallery, Russia's first provincial art museum.

Feodosia's old Church of St. Sarkis is a holy place for all Crimean Armenians. Once upon a time, a small cemetery had nestled close to its walls, where well-known local figures were buried. Today, only the tomb of Ivan Aivazovsky can be found there. It features a monument in the form of a sarcophagus made from a single slab of white Italian marble, bearing the inscription in Armenian: “He was but mortal, yet the memory of him will live forever.”[32]

 

  1. The Crimean Album, 1997: Regional History, Literature and Art Year-book (Issue 2) Feodosia; M., 1997. P. 220
  2. The exhibition was held in the halls of the Knyazhesky House on Fontanka Street, and closed in late March 1900.
  3. Quoted from Barsamov, N.S. "Aivazovsky in the Crimea”. Simferopol, 1970. P. 42.
  4. Aivazovsky painted this subject at least four times. In the 1980s, one of these paintings, “The Firing of the Turkish Fleet by Kanaris in 1822” (1892), formed part of the collection of Boris Gribanov. A more detailed account can be found in: Trubniakova, T.S. ‘On the History of Aivazovsky’s Final Painting “Exploding Ship”’ // “Materials from the conference I.K.Aivazovsky and Marine Painting”. Feodosia, 1992. Pp. 71-72.
  5. In his memoirs, Yury Galabutsky described Aivazovsky’s final day: “On the day of his death, he visited his estate in the morning as usual. Returning around five in the afternoon, he seemed cheery and energetic. Apparently feeling completely well, he convinced his wife and his wife’s sister to visit their relatives. Up until then, I.K.’s wife had not left the house alone, not wanting to leave I.K. by himself. At seven that evening, I.K. took them to the station. They were accompanied by some friends: I.K. was laughing and joking with them all the way. They said he was seldom seen in better spirits. After the train left, he set off on foot to visit his relatives, the Mazirovs. They lived rather far from the station. At their house he played cards, had dinner, then set off home, feeling completely well, just after eleven. A couple of hours later, his manservant heard a bell ring. Thinking that this was the sound of the main doorbell, he went to open the door, but there was no one there. Going upstairs to I.K.’s bedroom, he found him sprawled across the bed with virtually no signs of life. On the table was a wet compress: it seems I.K. had felt unwell and made a compress for his head. When this had not helped, in all probability, he had rung the bell. I.K. was already dead.” (“Crimean Album 2000”, issue 5. Feodosia, Moscow, 2002. P. 125).
  6. Kramskoi, I. “Letters”. Vol. II. Moscow, 1937. P. 373.
  7. Altogether, the FAPG is home to 417 works (141 oil paintings and 276 graphic works).
  8. Quoted from Trubniakova, T.S. ‘And In My Memory...: On the History of the Gallery’s Collection’ // “Crimean Album 1997”, issue 2. Feodosia, Moscow, 1997. Pp. 213-214.
  9. ‘Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky in 1878-1881’ // in “Russkaya Starina” (Old Times in Russia), 1881. Vol. 31. P. 422. The artist’s biography was compiled using notes taken from his own words. The author’s name is not indicated: experts suggest the most likely author was the writer Pyotr Karatygin.
  10. Krivenko, VS. “Meetings and Acquaintances with Artists”. Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI). Collection 785, inventory 1, file 1, folios 34-51.
  11. Kolomiychenko, Yu. ‘Triumph of Feodosia’ // “Pobeda” (Victory) newspaper, Feodosia, 1992, 23 July.
  12. The building was situated in the town garden near the Genoese Tower of St. Constantine. On the ground floor there was a printworks, a pharmacy, shops and a restaurant. The building was set alight by members of the Black Hundreds just as people had gathered in the Great Concert Hall to hear the October Manifesto of Tsar Nicholas II. The attackers blocked all the doors and windows. Members of the public perished in the incident, and the town archive was destroyed. In 1907, the remaining shell of the burned building was demolished, and the town garden expanded in its place.
  13. Sergeeva, O.I. ‘Masterpieces of Architecture and Sculpture’ // in “Feodosia”, 2nd ed. Simferopol, Feodosia, 2010. P. 148.
  14. Barsamov, N.S. “45 Years at the Aivazovsky Gallery”. Simferopol, Crimea, 1971. Pp. 42-43.
  15. “Aivazovsky: Documents and Material”. Yerevan, 1967. P. 238.
  16. Yevseev, A.A. ‘Within the Russian Empire. The Water Supply of Feodosia’ // in “Feodosia”, 2nd ed. Simferopol, Feodosia, 2010. P. 56.
  17. The statue was created by the sculptor Robert Bach. It was destroyed in 1917
  18. Yury Galabutsky taught Russian language and literature. See: Losev, D. ‘A Teacher of Russian Literature: On Yury Galabutsky and His Pupil Maximilian Voloshin’ // ’’Crimean Album 2000”, issue 6. Feodosia, Moscow, 2002. Pp. 127-138.
  19. Galabutsky, Yu. Aivazovsky in Personal Memories’ // “Crimean Album 2000”, issue 6. Feodosia, Moscow, 2002. P. 116.
  20. Wayfarer (Lender, N.) ‘Feodosia and Aivazovsky’ // in “Voyages to Feodosia: Notes from 1769-1904”. Feodosia, Koktebel Publishing House, 2002. Pp. 29-30.
  21. One of Aivazovsky’s biographers, Nikolai Stepanovich Barsamov (1892-1976) was a painter, museum worker, art historian and Honoured Citizen of Feodosia. In 1923, he became Director of the Feodosia Picture Gallery, and in 1962, lifetime Academic Consultant to the Gallery. During World War Two he and his wife Sofia Alexandrovna took care of the Gallery’s collection, saving it from destruction by having it transferred to Yerevan. Thanks to his tireless efforts, the Gallery’s collection of Aivazovsky oils increased almost threefold, and the gallery became known for its extensive collection of marine paintings. Barsamov is the author of a book of memoirs, “45 Years at the Aivazovsky Gallery”, as well as other books and articles on Aivazovsky and the artists of Eastern Crimea.
  22. Barsamov, N.S. “45 Years at the Aivazovsky Gallery”. Simferopol, Crimea, 1971. Pp. 92-94.
  23. Kolomiychenko, Yu. ‘Suvorin’s Dacha’ // in “Pobeda” (Victory) newspaper, Feodosia, 1985, 22 August.
  24. Krayushkina, L. ‘A Great Russian Publisher’ // in “Feodosiysky Albom” (Feodosia Album) newspaper, issue 240. 18 September 2009. P. 4.
  25. Galabutsky, Yu. ‘Aivazovsky in Personal Memories’ // in “Crimean Album 2000”, issue 6. Feodosia, Moscow, 2002. P. 119.
  26. In the 1850s, before Aivazovsky’s project, archaeological digs were conducted in the Feodosia area by the Head of the Museum of Antiquities Yevgeny de Villeneuve (1802/1803-1870s and by Kammer-Junker Prince Alexander Sibirsky (1824-1879), a well-known archaeologist and coin collector.
  27. Scientific Archive of the Institute of History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg). Collection 9, inventory 1, file 29, folios 2-3.
  28. In a letter to Count Lev Perovsky, the painter states that 80 burial mounds were excavated under his supervision. This figure is incorrect.
  29. State Archive of the Odessa Region. Collection 93, inventory 1, file 46, folios 29-30 verso. A list of the finds can be found in Tunkina, IV! “The Discovery of Feodosia: Notes on the Archaeological Study of South-Eastern Crimea and the Initial Stages of the History of Feodosia’s Museum of Antiquities: 1771-1871”. Kiev, 2011. From p. 203.
  30. Scientific Archive of the Institute of History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg). Collection 9, inventory 1, file 29, folios 6-16, 22. “Antiquities of Cimmerian Bosporus in the Imperial Hermitage Museum”. St. Petersburg, 1854, vol. I, table XII a; vol. II, table LXX a; “Extract from Humble Report to the Tsar...” Pp. 126-127.
  31. Petrova, E.B. “The Historical and Artistic Album of Tavrida of Yevgeny de Villeneuve and Vikenty Roussain”. Feodosia, Koktebel Publishing House; Simferopol, N. Orianda, 2015. P. 21.
  32. In 1944, Ivan Aivazovsky’s widow Anna was laid to rest in his tomb. She had died in Simferopol on 25 July 1944. A memorial plaque was put up in the early 1980s. See Dmitry Losev’s interview with M. Rovitskaya, ‘My Aunt Anna Aivazovskaya’ in “Crimean Album 1997”, issue 2. Feodosia, Moscow, 1997. Pp. 221-229.

Illustrations

Feodosia. Panoramic view of the town. Scenic postcard. Early 20th century
Feodosia. Panoramic view of the town. Scenic postcard. Early 20th century
Published by I. Wasserman, Feodosia. Collection of Dmitry Losev, Feodosia
Public swimming baths in Feodosia. Scenic postcard. Early 20th century
Public swimming baths in Feodosia. Scenic postcard. Early 20th century
Published by I. Wasserman, Feodosia. Collection of Dmitry Losev, Feodosia
Ivan Aivazovsky. Photograph. 1880s
Ivan Aivazovsky. Photograph. 1880s
Photographic studio "Wesenberg and Co.", St. Petersburg. Collection of Nikolai Dragin, Moscow
The funeral of Ivan Aivazovsky. The hearse and the funeral procession approach the Picture Gallery. 22 April 1900
The funeral of Ivan Aivazovsky. The hearse and the funeral procession approach the Picture Gallery. 22 April 1900
Photograph. Archive of the Aivazovsky Picture Gallery, Feodosia
Aivazovsky House and Picture Gallery, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. Early 20th century
Aivazovsky House and Picture Gallery, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. Early 20th century
Published by Lavretsky and Kovchanly Partnership, Feodosia. Collection of Nikolai Dragin, Moscow
Decoration of the Great Hall of the Aivazovsky Picture Gallery during the funeral. Stereo photograph. 1900
Decoration of the Great Hall of the Aivazovsky Picture Gallery during the funeral. Stereo photograph. 1900
To the left of the staircase, bottom – the unfinished painting "Exploding Ship". Collection of Rostislav Likhotvorik, Feodosia
Feodosia. Scenic postcard. 1990s
Feodosia. Scenic postcard. 1990s
Collection of Nikolai Dragin, Moscow
The Tower of St. Constantine, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. 1910s
The Tower of St. Constantine, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. 1910s
Collection of Nikolai Dragin, Moscow
Monument-fountain ”To the Kind Genius”, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. 1910s
Monument-fountain ”To the Kind Genius”, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. 1910s
Published by S. Wasserman, Feodosia. Collection of Dmitry Losev, Feodosia
Feodosia. View of Mount Mithridat and the Museum of Antiquities. Scenic postcard. 1910s
Feodosia. View of Mount Mithridat and the Museum of Antiquities. Scenic postcard. 1910s
Published by I. Wasserman, Feodosia. Collection of Dmitry Losev, Feodosia
Monument to Alexander III, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. Early 1900s
Monument to Alexander III, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. Early 1900s
Collection of Nikolai Dragin, Moscow
The facade of the Aivazovsky House during the mourning period for the artist Photograph from the album of Nikolai Lampsi (?), grandson of the artist. 1900
The façade of the Aivazovsky House during the mourning period for the artist Photograph from the album of Nikolai Lampsi (?), grandson of the artist. 1900
Archive of the Aivazovsky Picture Gallery, Feodosia
Alexei Suvorin's summer house, Feodosia. View from the sea. Scenic postcard. 1910s
Alexei Suvorin's summer house, Feodosia. View from the sea. Scenic postcard. 1910s
Collection of Nikolai Dragin, Moscow
The grave of Ivan Aivazovsky, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. 1910s
The grave of Ivan Aivazovsky, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. 1910s
Collection of Yury Kolomiychenko, Feodosia
The house in which Ivan Aivazovsky was born, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. 1910s
The house in which Ivan Aivazovsky was born, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. 1910s.
Published by I. Wasserman, Feodosia. Collection of Dmitry Losev, Feodosia
Feodosia. View of Mount Mithridat and the Museum of Antiquities. Photograph. Early 20th century
Feodosia. View of Mount Mithridat and the Museum of Antiquities. Photograph. Early 20th century.
Collection of Sergei Dzhumuk, St. Petersburg
The funeral of Ivan Aivazovsky. April 22 1900
The funeral of Ivan Aivazovsky. April 22 1900
Photograph. Archive of the Aivazovsky Picture Gallery, Feodosia
The Great Hall of the Aivazovsky Picture Gallery, Feodosia. Photographic postcard. Early 1910s
The Great Hall of the Aivazovsky Picture Gallery, Feodosia. Photographic postcard. Early 1910s
Collection of Vladimir Yolkin, St. Petersburg
The Aivazovsky Fountain on Alexandrovskaya Square, Feodosia. Stereo photograph. 1910
The Aivazovsky Fountain on Alexandrovskaya Square, Feodosia. Stereo photograph. 1910
Svet Publishing House (Moscow, St. Petersburg). Collection of Vladimir Yolkin, St. Petersburg
The Aivazovsky Fountain, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. Early 20th century
The Aivazovsky Fountain, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. Early 20th century
Collection of Nikolai Dragin, Moscow
Feodosia. Town and port panorama. Photograph. Early 20th century
Feodosia. Town and port panorama. Photograph. Early 20th century
Collection of Nikolai Dragin, Moscow
The Ivan Aivazovsky House on Yekaterininsky Avenue, Feodosia. Stereo photograph. 1907
The Ivan Aivazovsky House on Yekaterininsky Avenue, Feodosia. Stereo photograph. 1907
Collection of Nikolai Levenko, Feodosia
Monument to Alexander III, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. Early 1900s
Monument to Alexander III, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. Early 1900s
Collection of Dmitry Losev, Feodosia
The Museum of Antiquities on Mount Mithridat, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. 1910s
The Museum of Antiquities on Mount Mithridat, Feodosia. Scenic postcard. 1910s
Published by R. Mogilevskaya, Feodosia. Collection of Dmitry Losev, Feodosia
The unveiling of the monument to Ivan Aivazovsky next to the main façade of the Aivazovsky Picture Gallery. May 2 1930
The unveiling of the monument to Ivan Aivazovsky next to the main façade of the Aivazovsky Picture Gallery. May 2 1930
Far right, the writer Alexander Grin. Photograph. Archive of the Alexander Grin Literature and Memorial Museum, Feodosia
Feodosia. The Armenian Church of St. Sarkis and the grave of Ivan Aivazovsky. Scenic postcard. 1910s
Feodosia. The Armenian Church of St. Sarkis and the grave of Ivan Aivazovsky. Scenic postcard. 1910s
Published by I. Wasserman, Feodosia. Collection of Dmitry Losev, Feodosia

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