AN ARTIST OF "HELLENIC" SPIRIT

Galina Churak

Article: 
CURRENT EXHIBITIONS
Magazine issue: 
#4 2016 (53)

Marking in advance the bicentenary of the birth of Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900), which will fall on July 29 2017, the Tretyakov Gallery presents a major exhibition of this great master, a truly timeless artist. “Whatever anyone may say, Aivazovsky is a star of the most splendid magnitude. A star not only in his homeland, but one which shines within the entire history of art. Aivazovsky’s legacy, in the three to four thousand canvases that he created, contains truly phenomenal paintings that will forever remain as such.” Thus wrote the artist Ivan Kramskoi, that most thorough and intelligent art critic, one who had a most precise understanding of the artistic process.[1]

Aivazovsky lived a long and honourable life, the most important facet of which concerned his life as an artist, a creator. Destiny granted him more than 60 years of creativity, a happy fate for any artist. His life spanned the entire 19th century during which artistic preferences, fashion tastes and trends in art changed significantly. Romanticism, the “cocoon” in which Aivazovsky's talent was nurtured, would later make way for a critical understanding of life, and the social agitation and passion of the “Peredvizhnik” (Wanderers) movement, which in turn was itself overtaken by the end of the century by new symbolist trends and the aspirations of a younger generation towards new directions in art.

Like a powerful ship, Aivazovsky made his way across a stormy ocean of passions, explorations and disputes, remaining composed and placid, and always true to himself. His contemporaries, as well as art critics of later generations, would regard this as both a sign of the artist's vulnerability and of his strength. In his later years, when talking about criticism of his work with Nikolai Kuzmin, a close friend and journalist who later wrote Aivazovsky's biography, the artist said: “None of the intriguing directed at me 30 or 20 years ago ever discouraged me... I have always worked hard, never allowed myself to rest... Always striving for perfection.”[2]

The enthusiastic reception given to every work by the young marine painter in his formative years - both during his studies at the Academy of Arts and later, when he was pursuing his studies in Italy on a scholarship (1840-1844) - as well as the consideration and support of the Russian Imperial court, and the deep interest in his stunning seascapes shown by the royal families of Europe and numerous art lovers in Naples, Rome, Munich, Berlin and Paris, made the name of the distinguished Russian artist famous, even fashionable, across the continent. The eminent artist of the period, Alexander Ivanov, wrote to his father from Rome: "Gaivazovsky[3] is a man of talent. No one here paints water as finely as he does. Gaivazovsky works fast but with accomplishment. He only paints seascapes, and because there are no artists of this genre here, he is praised overmuch and flattered unduly.”[4] The passionate desire felt by many to have an Aivazovsky painting in their home would fuel the artist’s willingness to respond to such wishes; it coincided with his inherent tirelessness at work, and his desire to capture the infinite variety of the moods of the sea under different lights - in the morning or afternoon, at sunset or at night.

Each of Aivazovsky’s marine paintings was an expression of his never-changing - "voluptuous”, in the words of Alexandre Benois - love of the sea. Alongside calm seas, with no waves, that invited quiet contemplation, he would create paintings that captivated viewers with their mighty surges of water. Aivazovsky’s contemporaries would find it hard to give preference to any one "mood” of nature in his seascapes. Articles in Russian newspapers and magazines from as early as the end of the 1830s - as a rule, written by Nestor Kukolnik, the publisher of “Khudozhestvennaya Gazeta” (The Arts Gazette) - were already praising the first independent steps of the Academy of Arts student enthusiastically. Nonetheless, those same articles voiced the earliest concerns about the paintings' excessive striving for effect, and the sharpness of the artist's colour combinations. Alexei Tomilov, the connoisseur, philanthropist, and close friend of artists such as Sylvester Shchedrin, Alexander Orlovsky and Orest Kiprensky, was a man who keenly understood the nature of creativity; he was a patron of Aivazovsky, and would echo those warnings to his young friend.

By the early 1840s, following the tenets of Romanticism, Aivazovsky had initiated his own specific style, preferring certain subjects and painting in a manner unique in terms of its pictorial qualities and plasticity. Everything was fused in his works: the unpredictable moods and states of the sea reaching far beyond the ordinary, the despair of man caught in an unequal battle against the raging abyss, but also a sense of human courage and eternal hope. The aesthetics of Romanticism entirely justified and accepted the intensity of emotions and richness of colour in Aivazovsky's seascapes.

His famous painting “The Ninth Wave” (1850, Russian Museum) became the culmination of his romantic disposition, and something of a mid-point in his creative life. In the years that followed the artist would abandon neither emotions that excited the imagination of his viewers nor his forceful colour solutions, although the artistic community and critics would receive them with different reactions. Comparing Aivazovsky's pace and quantity of work with the “writer's productivity” of Alexandre Dumas, Fyodor Dostoevsky singled out “Storm over Yevpatoria” (1861, Tsarskoye Selo Museum-Reserve), among other works at the exhibition he was reviewing: “There is rapture in his storm, there is the eternal beauty that a real storm always strikes in the onlooker.”[5]

In the mid-1860s Pavel Tretyakov, who became very passionate about Aivazovsky's works, wrote to the artist: “Give me only the magic of depicted water, in a way which would fully convey your matchless talent.”[6] However, the famous collector was quite cautious about expanding his collection with works by Aivazovsky: the unusual, exceptional nature of the artist's works somehow made him hesitate. And times were coming to dictate other ways of perceiving and understanding beauty, which Tretyakov expressed in a letter to another artist, Appolinary Goravsky: “I do not ask for richness of nature, magnificent composition, spectacular lighting or any other miracles - draw me a dirty puddle if you wish, only so that it has truth, poetry. Poetry can be instilled into anything, it only depends on the artist.”[7]

Sharing his impressions of the 1875 Aivazovsky exhibition at the Academy of Arts, the painter and art critic Ivan Kramskoi expressed bewilderment, combined with an element of irony: “Perhaps, I cannot understand their [the paintings'] virtues... Aivazovsky probably has a secret of paint preparation, the paints themselves must be secret. I have never seen tones so clear and pure, even on the shelves of art shops.”[8] However, a few years later, when Aivazovsky exhibited his grandiose canvas “The Black Sea” (1881, Tretyakov Gallery), looking at the painting in absolute awe Kramskoi was moved to quote from the Bible: “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters... This is one of the most majestic paintings I know.”[9]

In all the variety of opinions on and perceptions of Aivazovsky's art, ranging from sincere enthusiasm to an absolute denial that there could be quality in anything that came from his studio, and negative parallels drawn between his name and the purely salon style (which for many years was rejected by the public), the critical verdicts of Nikolai Ge and Mikhail Vrubel, and the diverging yet analytically succinct interpretation of Alexandre Benois, stand out as important reference points.

In the atmosphere of widespread positivism of the time, Ge's emotional and passionate art tinged with tragedy represented a development of the romantic tradition of the beginning of the 19th century. It was this tradition that he cared for most in Aivazovsky's paintings, thus connecting Ge's own impulsive art with one of the brightest Russian Romantics of the 19th century. As well as that, in Aivazovsky's vivid elements of nature, Ge recognized the “living form” that he so deeply valued, and without which he could not imagine any manifestation of the creative spirit.

In his memoirs, Konstantin Korovin would often quote Vrubel's impression of the painter: “Aivazovsky is a wonderful artist... I saw his exhibition - a great artist.” Then Korovin cites Vrubel again: “One must not paint nature, it is not necessary - what is necessary is capturing its beauty.”[10] These words accorded with Aivazovsky's own beliefs: “When a painter is merely copying nature he becomes enslaved by it, bound hand and foot.”[11] Ilya Repin reckoned Aivazovsky as belonging to the artists of “Hellenic spirit” or a “Hellenic world view”.[12]

Benois, the exquisite artist of the early 20th century who was also an intelligent and incisive art critic whose opinion would come to be respected by generations of specialists, recognized in Aivazovsky, along with the “petty instincts of a merchant...” a “truly artistic temperament”. He continued: “I only wish that the Russian public and Russian art critics could have supported this temperament, rather than giving free rein to the artist's most unworthy instincts.”[13]

However, Benois admitted the most significant quality of Aivazovsky's art, which he had derived from the great European masters like J.MW Turner, John Martin and Jean Antoine Theodore de Gudin, was his interest in and ability to depict the epic life of nature's elements - water, sky and space. “No other Russian artist has reached such heights as to awake an interest in the tragedy of the universe, the power and the beauty of natural phenomenon,” Benois wrote in his “History of Russian Painting in the 19th Century”.[14]

So what do we, coming as we do from an era so remote from those bygone centuries, expect from Aivazovsky today? What do we want, and what can we see in his art? The beauty of his enchanting seascapes - the quiet sunrises, the hot weariness of the burning afternoon sun, the mysterious reticence of the moonlit nights with the mesmerizing beauty of his famous shimmering moonlight on water - will forever remain alive and alluring. As before, the “maestro quality” of his paintings captivates both the general viewer and the specialist. It is little surprise that generations of researchers have been examining, “dissecting” the painter's works with their eyes, and applying the most advanced methods to unravel Aivazovsky's mystery, to understand the peculiar nature of his colour compositions that can give transparency to waves and depth to the sea abyss. His paintings embody a beautiful ideal; filled with positive energy, they always inspire an overpowering hope, that quality which we so much lack in the harsh world of today. Nevertheless, the enduring visual appeal of the seascapes is only one of the many facets that make up Aivazovsky's creative individuality as a painter.

The Tretyakov exhibition of the master features works from numerous collections, in which the paintings have been “living” their separate lives. United by the commitment of the curators and brought into a new environment, they appear to interact in unprecedented ways, often conducting unexpected “dialogues” both with one another and with the viewer.

Arranged not in chronological order but in thematic sections, the exhibition focuses on the most significant works by Aivazovsky and gives us the chance to discover him not only as the author of “a wondrous charm of the calm sea - the silken shining somnolent elements”,[15] but a master of great and significant subjects. The exhibition's opening section, “Aivazovsky's Marine Symphonies”, features landscapes depicting the sea in all its moods, from dawn to dusk, from calm to storm - water in all its states, a sort of marine anthology.

Along with canvases filled with clear harmonious romance, the artist created paintings where the devotions of youth seem forgotten, where outward flamboyancy gives way to clear truth in the artistic reproduction of the life of the sea. In one of his most prominent creations, “The Black Sea” (1881, Tretyakov Gallery), Aivazovsky approached an understanding of the eternal being of nature, in which the majestically breathing ocean is perceived as a metaphor of human life and fate.

In later years, the artist strived for deeper, sensuous, universal embodiment of his ideas of nature, replacing the previous material and earthly experience of knowing and capturing the world. Two of the works that reflect those aspirations are “The Wave” (1889, Russian Museum), and the majestic canvas “Among the Waves” (Aivazovsky Picture Gallery, Feodosia) painted in 1898, two years before Aivazovsky's death.

These grand-scale canvases bring landscape art closer to historical painting not only because of their size, but also from their seriousness of interpretation. It is noteworthy that the gravity of the subject is brilliantly matched by the painting skills of the 80-year-old artist which give no indication of any physical decline. From the chaos of strokes arise the motions of the waves, a delicate foam and the transparent depths of the sea.

Even the formal compositional trait of the seascapes - their always distinguishable skyline - contains a deep, meaningful idea: the ever-alluring faraway, the desire to cross distant elusive boundaries and learn what lies on the other side, that feeling known to us all from our childhoods onwards. Together with the artist we strive to achieve the captivating dream:

There, beyond th’inclement weather
There’s a land by beauty blest,
Vaults of heaven there frown never,
And the quiet gives one rest.
But the waves shall bring one there
If he’s strong and does not wail!
(Nikolai Yazykov. “Swimmer”. 1829)
Translated by Alexander Pokidov [16]

Indeed, the poetic imagery of verse often echoes the poetics of Aivazovsky's pictorial images.

Closest to this section in terms of subject are those paintings which immerse the viewer into the mysteries of the world's creation (“Captivated by the Mystery of the Universe”). In 1841, the artist addressed for the first time this subject, which was far from typical for him, during his studies at the Academy of Arts in Italy: Aivazovsky presented the resulting work, “Chaos. Creation of the World”, to Pope Gregory XVI.[17] The painter was much drawn to the subject, returning to it in later years. In 1864, in a state of exceptional inspiration during which he remained at the easel for nine hours, he created a new version of the painting, “The Creation” (Russian Museum), and would revisit the Gospel story on several other occasions, for the final time in 1894.

The artist was captivated by the “grandiose” mystery of the birth of the universe, and elated by the grandeur of the cosmos. The universal catastrophe in heaven and on earth is captured in the major canvas “The Flood” (1864, Russian Museum). Aivazovsky's fearless courage in working with large canvases, as well as his combination of professional skills, passion for improvisation and exuberant imagination was critical for the successful embodiment of the idea. The composition of Aivazovsky's painting, with its abundance of figures and complexity of perspectives, brings to mind the French master Gustave Dore, who treated a similar subject in his illustrations of the Bible in the 1860s, at the same time as Aivazovsky was working.

Related to this grand cosmic subject were the paintings based on Gospel stories that Aivazovsky created for the Armenian churches of Feodosia. The most frequent subject among them was “Walking on the Water”, which attracted the artist for the opportunity it gave to embody in the figure of Christ the power of light vested in him, to express the Gospel notion of Christ as the Light of Light. In addition, this story set on the Sea of Galilee allowed the artist to paint his favourite element of nature, water. These works give a different angle to our perception of the master's art: we realize that just as much as Aivazovsky admired the captivating beauty of the earth, he also wished to uncover the mysteries of Creation.

Aivazovsky can, without doubt, be called a “man of the world”. Although only one place, Feodosia, really featured in his life and work, he was nevertheless a tireless traveller. From the early years of his stay in Italy onwards, his journeys were driven by a thirst for knowledge. “Like a bee I suck honey from the flower garden to bring in grateful tribute to the Tsar and to Mother Russia!”[18] The artist was mostly attracted to “locations on the sea and the art of famous marine painters”.[19]

Thus, he travelled down the Rhine, and then through Switzerland, to reach Holland, “a place very interesting in terms of my trade; later I came to London, where I’ve seen all the amazing things.” Pleased and proud, he would write from Paris in 1842: "I was well received here by the best painters - Gudin and the rest.”[20] Aivazovsky’s life was rich and eventful, indeed: within the course of a year, he would travel several times from Feodosia to St. Petersburg, to Moscow and Odessa, and visit Kharkov and Kiev.

His journeys across Europe were no less frequent the number of cities which he visited, and where he held personal exhibitions, exceeds one hundred. Two sections at the Tretyakov exhibition, "Between Leo dosia and Petersburg” and All the World W as Small to Him”, not only describe the geography of Aivazovsky’s travels, but also the breadth of experiences that served as the basis for his paintings. His unshackled imagina tion. perfect visual and emotional memory gave the artist the right to combine different impressions on one canvas.

He used to say: "I can paint views of the Baltic coasts in Crimea, winter scenery in summer, a clear cloudless sunrise sky on a cloudy day. Overcome In the forces of nature. I keep 11 lose memories for years... The tempest I observed on the Italian coast can, in my painting, be transported to some location in Crimea or in the Caucasus; a ray of moonlight reflected in the Bosphorus, I use to illuminate the fortifications of Sevastopol.[21]" At the same time, the artist was absolutely accurate when depicting real places and made them instantly recognizable.

The deep interest in the history of the Russian Navy that Aivazovsky maintained throughout his life played a major role in the artist's fate and creative pursuits. Officially appointed a painter of the Russian Naval Staff in 1844, he did not merely execute commissions of the ministry and the Imperial court to immortalize the mighty enterprises and history of the Russian Navy, but would also immerse himself, driven by his own emotional interest, in the heroic and tragic pages of Russia's maritime history.

Aivazovsky visited Sevastopol while it was under siege during the Crimean War of 1853-1856 and arranged an exhibition of his work there for the defenders of the city. In his later years he painted a “recollection”, “Malakhov Kurgan” (1893, Aivazovsky Picture Gallery, Feodosia) with the inscription: “The Place Where Kornilov Was Mortally Wounded". When reproducing the chaos and force of conflict in which day and night merge into one, and the sky and the sea seem to burn with flames, the artist would feel himself completely overwhelmed. Such battle scenes were as much evocations of the artist's own creative ideas as they were commissioned pieces. He would depict events that went far beyond the everyday, just as he would when painting the moods of nature in storms and gales. Such paintings would became the highest manifestation of the romantic perception of the world and nature, and of the desperate courage and selflessness of sailors.

Aivazovsky understood and admired sailing ships. He liked their construction, their white sails filled with the wind, the beauty and pride of the outlines of large warships and light vessels alike, which from a distance, when approaching the horizon, recalled birds in flight. He lovingly collected all sorts of items from ships as well as models of sailing vessels at his home in Feodosia. His collection has not survived, but the exhibition features telescopes owned by Admiral Mikhail Lazarev, a compass, a large celestial globe, and models of famous sailing ships such as The Twelve Apostles. That vessel, launched from the stocks of the Nikolayev shipyards some years before the start of the Crimean War, shared the tragic fate of the Russian sailing fleet: it was sunk in the Bay of Sevastopol on September 26 1855.

In its essence, Aivazovsky's art is permeated with poetry and music. Each and every state of marine nature in his paintings may give rise to, or be associated with poetic lines or musical images. At the very beginning of his artistic journey, the 19-year-old graduate of the Academy of Arts was blessed by an encounter with Alexander Pushkin. Aivazovsky not only remembered every moment of their conversation, but often sought to examine his own work through imagining the possible impression of the great poet, measuring its painted images by the heights of Pushkin's poetry. Perhaps the paintings most congenial to poetic and musical lines are those of moonlit nights, a group of which features in the “Nocturnes” section of the exhibition. Aivazovsky's night seascapes are full of poetic languor. The moon, mistress of the night, reigns over the sky, and in her light the sea and people begin to live a different life. In these night landscapes, the shimmering of moonlight on the peaceful surface of the sea is depicted with outstanding mastery. Many imitators have tried to replicate Aivazovsky's touch, but none has succeeded. The artist's nocturnes evoke feelings of peace, harmony and the deepest communion with the world of nature. His picturesque landscapes give rise to musical associations - most of all with the nocturnes of Chopin, the most poetic of the Romantic composers and one of the most virtuosic performers of musical improvisation.

In the swiftness, ease and artistry of painting his night landscapes, sunrises and sunsets, Aivazovsky was approaching the poetic or musical impromptu style that came into vogue in the European literary and musical salons at the beginning of the 19th century. The poet Adam Mickiewicz was famous for his improvisations, while Aivazovsky also heard the light musical fantasies of Mikhail Glinka. When in Italy, he encountered the famous Neapolitan improvisers, whose work, based on the canzonetta form, was admired for the ease with which they versified and created music on any given subject. A song or a verse, coming to life directly before the audience, would always attract by the seeming ease with which a completed work was born, when in the state of most intense composure the artist “felt God approaching”. Aivazovsky would often “perform” before a crowd of bewildered fans or students a sort of “mastery of the pictorial impromptu”, creating a complete painting within a matter of a couple of hours. These sessions did not always meet with approval, but such an open improvised approach to art was a manifestation of the artist's strong inner confidence and boundless love for his vocation.

Aivazovsky's heritage as a graphic artist is displayed at the exhibition with greater diversity and completeness than ever before. The sheer quantity of his paintings and his unparalleled accomplishment as a marine painter has diverted researchers from another equally important part of his artistic interests - his pencil and sepia drawings, and watercolours. In fact, Aivazovsky's talent manifested itself in his graphic works on small sheets of paper with as much artistic conviction as when he worked with large canvases.

These graphic images are triumphant in the accuracy of their drawing and sophistication of line, while a serene nobility of tone instills the sepia drawings and watercolours. Aivazovsky knew how to work in different forms, depending on the tasks he wished to resolve. Among these graphic works is a series of drawings created in 1845-1846 in the port cities of Nikolayev and Sevastopol: they are distinguished - as we would say today - by their minimalist artistic technique. Thin, almost thread-like line denotes the construction of sailing ships at the stocks of Nikolayev shipyard and the smoke rising from the ships engaged in firing practice. Drawings created in Constantinople at the same time introduce us to an entirely different manner: with his finely sharpened pencil he would sketch a panorama of the city and all its distinguishing landmarks - the slender minarets, the famous Galata Tower and the narrow streets huddled along steep hills - all depicted with perfect accuracy. Still more of his accomplishments are revealed in a series of drawings and watercolours made during Aivazovsky's travels in the retinue of Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich in 1845 to the coast of Turkey, Asia Minor and the islands of the Greek archipelago. In their lightness of touch and ambition some of these watercolours could be compared to the brilliant sketches of Karl Bryullov, an artist whom Aivazovsky revered. A series of drawings and watercolours from this 1845 voyage is included in the album of Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich, which is displayed in public for the first time at this exhibition.[22] The exhibition closes with a biographical section with a detailed account of Aivazovsky's life and work, a range of photographs, documents and portraits of the people closest to the artist - his parents, his wife Anna Nikitichna, and his brother Gabriel.

During his lifetime, Aivazovsky staged more than 120 solo exhibitions, in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Feodosia, Odessa, Tbilisi, Kiev, Paris, Constantinople, Berlin, New York and many other places. The current exhibition is the first large-scale Aivazovsky exhibition at the Tretyakov Gallery: over 200 paintings and more than 50 graphic works introduce the great master in the full variety of his artistic interests and ability. Works from 17 museums, including the Tretyakov Gallery's permanent partner, the Russian Museum; the Central Naval Museum; and several of the palace museums outside St. Petersburg which contain former royal collections, are on display alongside pieces from a number of private collections. The Aivazovsky Picture Gallery in Feodosia deserves special mention: without such collaboration any exhibition of the master's works would be incomplete. No less important is the involvement of the National Gallery of Armenia, the country to which Aivazovsky was bound by birth and family ties, as well as his active engagement in the life of his countrymen which saw him take their griefs and joys alike to heart.

The exhibition invites viewers to submerge themselves in Aivazovsky's world, giving the opportunity not only to enjoy his painterly mastery, but also reflect on what draws us to his works today, and what they can give the viewer in the 21st century.

 

  1. Kramskoi, I. “Letters”. 2 vols. Moscow, 1937. Vol. 2. P. 373.
  2. Kuzmin, Nikolai. “Memories of Aivazovsky”. Kiev. Simferopol, 2005. P. 113.
  3. In 1840 the artist changed the spelling of his name to ‘Aivazovsky”.
  4. Ivanov, A. "His Life and Correspondence: 1806-1858”. St. Petersburg, 1880. P. 143.
  5. Dostoyevsky, F. “On Art”. Moscow, 1973. P. 140.
  6. Department of Manuscripts, Tretyakov Gallery, 1 (Pavel Tretyakov), archived unit 4751, list 98.
  7. “Artists’ Letters to Pavel Tretyakov. 1856-1869”. Moscow, 1960. P. 303.
  8. Kramskoi, I. “Letters, Articles”. 2 vols. Moscow, 1965. P. 318.
  9. Kramskoi, I. “His Life, Correspondence and Critical Art Reviews. 1837-1887”. St. Petersburg, 1888. P. 681-682.
  10. “Konstantin Korovin Remembers...” Moscow, 1971. P. 136, 181.
  11. “Russkaya Starina” (Old Times in Russia). 1878. Vol. 22, July. P. 425.
  12. Repin, I. “So Faraway, So Close”. Moscow, 1960. P. 409.
  13. Benois, A. “History of Russian Painting in the 19th Century”. Moscow, 1995. P. 305. Hereinafter - Benois.
  14. Benois. P. 306.
  15. Benois. P. 305.
  16. From: “The Luminaries of the Pushkin ‘Odd Pleiad’: From Dmitry Venevitinov to Pyotr Vyazemsky”, translated by Alexander Pokidov. Moscow. 2013. Р. 49. http://pokidov-poetry.ru/THE_LUMINARIES.pdf
  17. Currently in the Museum of the Armenian Mekhitarist Congregation, Venice (on the Island of San Lazzaro).
  18. “Russkaya Starina”. 1878. Vol. 22, July. P. 426.
  19. “Ivan Aivazovsky. Documents and Materials”. Yerevan, 1967. P. 60.
  20. Ibid., p. 65.
  21. “Russkaya Starina”. 1878. Vol. 22, July. P. 426.
  22. The album is kept in the Russian State Archive of Literature and Arts.

Illustrations

IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Morning at Sea. 1849
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Morning at Sea. 1849
Pavlovsk Museum-Reserve. Detail
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. View on a Rocky Coast from the Sea. 1845
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. View on a Rocky Coast from the Sea. 1845
Sepia, graphite pencil on paper. 19.5 × 30.4 cm. Russian Museum
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. View of Constantinople from Skoutari. 1845
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. View of Constantinople from Skoutari. 1845
Graphite pencil, sepia, white-wash on paper. 19.4 × 30.4 cm. From the Album of Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich. 1820s-1850s. Russian State Archive of Literature and Art, Fund 1949, op. 2, unit 3. Sheet 4
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Morning at Sea. 1849
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Morning at Sea. 1849
Oil on canvas. 85 × 101.5 cm. Pavlovsk Museum-Reserve
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. View of Moscow from the Sparrow Hills. 1848
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. View of Moscow from the Sparrow Hills. 1848
Oil on canvas. 40 × 51 cm. Russian Museum
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Meeting of the Brig Mercury with the Russian Squadron after the Defeat of Two Turkish Battleships. 1848
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Meeting of the Brig Mercury with the Russian Squadron after the Defeat of Two Turkish Battleships. 1848
Oil on canvas. 123.5 × 190 cm. Russian Museum
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Storm at Sea on a Moonlit Night. 1861
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Storm at Sea on a Moonlit Night. 1861
Oil on canvas. 89 × 106 cm. Pavlovsk Museum-Reserve
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. The Creation of the World. 1864
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. The Creation of the World. 1864
Oil on canvas. 195 × 236 cm. Russian Museum
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Seashore. Calm. 1843
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Seashore. Calm. 1843
Oil on canvas. 114 × 187 cm. Russian Museum
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. The Wave. 1889
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. The Wave. 1889
Oil on canvas. 304 × 505 cm. Russian Museum
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. The Twelve Apostles. 1897
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. The Twelve Apostles. 1897
Oil on canvas. 105 × 139.5 cm. Aivazovsky Picture Gallery, Feodosia
A model of the 120-gun ship The Twelve Apostles built in 1841. 1958
A model of the 120-gun ship The Twelve Apostles built in 1841. 1958
Anatoly Kaplanovsky – model-maker, captain. Wood, copper, fabric, cotton. Handmade. 90 × 120 × 30 cm, scale 1:96
Magnetic eight-inch compass, 'dry' type, with course recorder in metal case. With case. 1850
Magnetic eight-inch compass, "dry" type, with course recorder in metal case. With case. 1850
D. Napier & Son. London. Metal, wood, glass, paper. Factory-manufactured. 34.5 × 28 × 28 cm – with case. Central Naval Museum, St. Petersburg
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Rainbow. 1873
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Rainbow. 1873
Oil on canvas. 105 × 136 cm. Tretyakov Gallery
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Rainbow. 1873
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Rainbow. 1873
Tretyakov Gallery. Detail
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Gondolier at Sea by Night. 1843
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Gondolier at Sea by Night. 1843
Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan. Detail
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. A Young Negro in Stambuli, Rhodes. 1845
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. A Young Negro in Stambuli, Rhodes. 1845
Graphite pencil, sepia, watercolour on paper. 29.2 × 23.5 cm. From the Album of Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich. 1820s-1850s. Russian State Archive of Literature and Art, Fund 1949, op. 2, unit 3. Sheet 11
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Greek Women on the Islands of the Greek Archipelago. 1845
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Greek Women on the Islands of the Greek Archipelago. 1845
Sepia, graphite pencil on paper. 19.4 × 30.1 cm. From the Album of Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich. 1820s-1850s. Russian State Archive of Literature and Art, Fund 1949, op. 2, unit 3. Sheet 8
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Gondolier at Sea by Night. 1843
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Gondolier at Sea by Night. 1843
Oil on canvas. 73 × 112 cm. Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. The Bay of Naples. 1858
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. The Bay of Naples. 1858
Oil on canvas. 62.5 × 93 cm. Private collection, Moscow
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Frigate under Sail. 1846
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Frigate under Sail. 1846
Oil on canvas. 57 × 83 cm. Central Naval Museum, St. Petersburg
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. View of Lake Maggiore and Isola Bella by Moonlight.
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. View of Lake Maggiore and Isola Bella by Moonlight. 1849
Oil on canvas. 57.2 × 80.7 cm. Private collection, Moscow
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Sea Channel with Lighthouse. 1841
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Sea Channel with Lighthouse. 1841
Oil on canvas. 48.5 × 60 cm. Russian Museum
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. View of Constantinople. 1846
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. View of Constantinople. 1846
Oil on canvas. 120 × 189.5 cm. Peterhof Museum-Reserve
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. The Battle of Sinop. 1853
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. The Battle of Sinop. 1853
Oil on canvas. 223 x 332 cm. Central Naval Museum, St. Petersburg
Celestial floor globe. Late 18th century
Celestial floor globe. Late 18th century
Samuel Faber Atelier “M. Jon. Lud. Andrex. Noriberg” Cardboard, metal, wood, filler, paint. Handmade. Diameter 67 cm, height 72 cm, globe diameter 47 cm
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Malakhov Kurgan. 1893
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Malakhov Kurgan. 1893
Oil on canvas. 53.5 × 71.5 cm. Aivazovsky Picture Gallery, Feodosia
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Niagara Falls. 1893
IVAN AIVAZOVSKY. Niagara Falls. 1893
Oil on canvas. 126 × 164 cm. Aivazovsky Picture Gallery, Feodosia

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