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Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (russian: Иван Константинович Айвазовский; 29 July 18172 May 1900) was a Russian
Romantic Romantic may refer to: Genres and eras * The Romantic era, an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement of the 18th and 19th centuries ** Romantic music, of that era ** Romantic poetry, of that era ** Romanticism in science, of that er ...
painter who is considered one of the greatest masters of
marine art Marine art or maritime art is a form of figurative art (that is, painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture) that portrays or draws its main Sea in culture, inspiration from the sea. Maritime painting is a genre that depicts ships and the sea ...
. Baptized as Hovhannes Aivazian, in classical spelling and Հովհաննես Այվազյան in reformed spelling. His name was given as Յօհաննես Այվազեան, ''Yohannes Aivazian'' in baptismal records. he was born into an
Armenian Armenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Armenia, a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia * Armenians, the national people of Armenia, or people of Armenian descent ** Armenian language, the Indo-European language spoken ...
family in the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
port of
Feodosia uk, Феодосія, Теодосія crh, Kefe , official_name = () , settlement_type= , image_skyline = THEODOSIA 01.jpg , imagesize = 250px , image_caption = Genoese fortress of Caffa , image_shield = Fe ...
in
Crimea Crimea; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural ...

Crimea
and was mostly based there. Following his education at the
Imperial Academy of Arts The Russian Academy of Arts, informally known as the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts was an art academy in Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Pite ...

Imperial Academy of Arts
in
Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Piter.ogg, r=Sankt-Peterburg, p=ˈsankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk), formerly known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and later Leningrad (1924–1991), ...

Saint Petersburg
, Aivazovsky traveled to Europe and lived briefly in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
in the early 1840s. He then returned to Russia and was appointed the main painter of the
Russian Navy )Slow – "''Гвардейский встречный марш Военно-морского флота''" () , mascot = , equipment = 1 aircraft carrier An aircraft carrier is a that serves as ...
. Aivazovsky had close ties with the military and political elite of the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. ...
and often attended military maneuvers. He was sponsored by the state and was well-regarded during his lifetime. The saying "worthy of Aivazovsky's brush", popularized by
Anton Chekhov Anton Pavlovich Chekhov ( rus, links=no, Антон Павлович ЧеховIn Chekhov's day, his name was written Антонъ Павловичъ Чеховъ. See, for instanceАнтонъ Павловичъ Чеховъ. 1898. ''Муж ...
, was used in Russia for describing something lovely. He remains highly popular in Russia in the 21st century. One of the most prominent
Russian artists This is a list of Russians artists. In this context, the term "Russian" covers the Russian Federation, Soviet Union, Russian Empire, Tsardom of Russia and Grand Duchy of Moscow, including ethnic Russians and people of other ethnicities living in Rus ...
of his time, Aivazovsky was also popular outside Russian Empire. He held numerous
solo exhibition Solo or SOLO may refer to: Arts and entertainment Comics * Solo (DC Comics), ''Solo'' (DC Comics), a DC comics series * Solo, a 1996 mini-series from Dark Horse Comics Characters * Han Solo, a ''Star Wars'' character * Jacen Solo, a Jedi in the n ...
s in Europe and the United States. During his almost 60-year career, he created around 6,000 paintings, making him one of the most prolific artists of his time. The vast majority of his works are
seascape 140px, ''Summer Squall'', 1904. A seascape by Winslow Homer. A seascape is a photograph, painting, or other work of art which depicts the sea, in other words an example of marine art. The word originated as a formation from landscape, which w ...

seascape
s, but he often depicted battle scenes, Armenian themes, and portraiture. Most of Aivazovsky's works are kept in Russian, Ukrainian and Armenian museums as well as private collections.


Life


Background

Ivan Aivazovsky was born on 17 July (29 in
New Style Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) indicate a dating system from before and after a calendar change, respectively. Usually this is the change from the Julian calendar The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in , was a reform of th ...
) 1817 in the city of
Feodosia uk, Феодосія, Теодосія crh, Kefe , official_name = () , settlement_type= , image_skyline = THEODOSIA 01.jpg , imagesize = 250px , image_caption = Genoese fortress of Caffa , image_shield = Fe ...
(Theodosia),
Crimea Crimea; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural ...

Crimea
, Russian Empire. In the baptismal records of the local St. Sargis
Armenian Apostolic , native_name_lang = hy , icon = Armenian Apostolic Church logo.png , icon_width = 100px , icon_alt = , image = Էջմիածնի_Մայր_Տաճար.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , al ...
Church, Aivazovsky was listed as ''Hovhannes, son of Gevorg Aivazian'' ( hy, Գէորգ Այվազեանի որդի Յօհաննեսն). During his study at the
Imperial Academy of Arts The Russian Academy of Arts, informally known as the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts was an art academy in Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Pite ...

Imperial Academy of Arts
, he was known in Russian as Ivan Gaivazovsky (Иванъ Гайвазовскій in the pre-1918 spelling). He became known as Aivazovsky since , while in Italy. He signed an 1844 letter with an Italianized rendition of his name: "Giovani Aivazovsky". His father, Konstantin, (–1840), was an Armenian merchant from the
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
region of
Galicia Galicia may refer to: Geographic regions * Galicia (Spain), a region and autonomous community of northwestern Spain ** Gallaecia, a Roman province ** The post-Roman Kingdom of the Suebi, also called the Kingdom of Gallaecia ** The medieval Kingdom ...
. His family had migrated to Europe from
Western Armenia Western Armenia (Western Armenian: Արեւմտեան Հայաստան, ''Arevmdian Hayasdan'') is a term to refer to the eastern parts of Turkey (formerly the Ottoman Empire) that are part of the historical homeland of the Armenians. Western Ar ...

Western Armenia
in the 18th century. After numerous familial conflicts, Konstantin left Galicia for
Moldavia Moldavia ( ro, Moldova, or , literally "The Moldavian Country"; in Romanian Cyrillic alphabet, Romanian Cyrillic: or ; chu, Землѧ Молдавскаѧ; el, Ἡγεμονία τῆς Μολδαβίας) is a historical region and forme ...

Moldavia
, later moving to
Bukovina Bukovina ro, Bucovina; german: Bukowina or ; pl, Bukowina; hu, Bukovina; uk, Буковина, ; see also other languages Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also r ...

Bukovina
, before settling in Feodosia in the early 1800s. He was initially known as Gevorg Aivazian (Haivazian or Haivazi), but he changed his last name to Gaivazovsky by adding the Polish " -sky". Aivazovsky's mother, Ripsime, was a Feodosia Armenian. The couple had five children—three daughters and two sons. Aivazovsky's elder brother,
Gabriel In the Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of -originated s that claim descent from the of the ancient and the worship of the . The Ab ...

Gabriel
, was a prominent historian and an Armenian Apostolic archbishop.


Education

The young Aivazovsky received parochial education at Feodosia's St. Sargis Armenian Church. He was taught drawing by Jacob Koch, a local architect. Aivazovsky moved to
Simferopol Simferopol () is the second-largest city on the Crimean Peninsula Crimea; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ is a peninsula along the northern coast of the Bla ...
with Taurida Governor Alexander Kaznacheyev's family in 1830 and attended the city's Russian gymnasium. In 1833, Aivazovsky arrived in the Russian capital,
Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Piter.ogg, r=Sankt-Peterburg, p=ˈsankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk), formerly known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and later Leningrad (1924–1991), ...

Saint Petersburg
, to study at the Imperial Academy of Arts in
Maxim Vorobiev Maksim Nikiforovich Vorobyov (russian: Максим Никифорович Воробьёв; 17 August 1787, in Pskov – 11 September 1855, in Saint Petersburg) was a Russian landscape painter. Biography He was the son of a retired soldier who l ...
's landscape class. In 1835, he was awarded with a silver medal and appointed assistant to the French painter . In September 1836, Aivazovsky met Russia's national poet
Alexander Pushkin Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (; rus, links=no, Алекса́ндр Серге́евич Пу́шкинIn Pushkin's day, his name was written ., r=Aleksándr Sergéyevich Púshkin, p=ɐlʲɪkˈsandr sʲɪrˈɡʲe(j)ɪvʲɪtɕ ˈpuʂkʲɪn, a=ru ...
during the latter's visit to the Academy. In 1837, Aivazovsky joined the battle-painting class of and participated in
Baltic Fleet , image = Great emblem of the Baltic fleet.svg , image_size = 150 , caption = Baltic Fleet Great ensign , dates = 18 May 1703 – present , country = , allegiance = (1703–1721) (1721–1917) (1917–1922) (1922–1991)(1991–present) , ...

Baltic Fleet
exercises in the
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic ...
. In October 1837, he graduated from the Imperial Academy of Arts with a gold medal, two years earlier than intended. Aivazovsky returned to Feodosia in 1838 and spent two years in his native Crimea. In 1839, he took part in military exercises in the shores of Crimea, where he met Russian admirals
Mikhail Lazarev Admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations and the United States, a "full" admiral is equivalent to a "full" general officer, ...
,
Pavel Nakhimov Pavel Stepanovich Nakhimov (russian: Павел Степанович Нахимов, ) ( – ), one of the most famous admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Commo ...

Pavel Nakhimov
and
Vladimir Kornilov Vice Admiral Vladimir Alexeyevich Kornilov (; 13 February 1806 – 17 October 1854) was a Russians, Russian naval officer who took part in the Crimean War. Kornilov was born on his family estate in Staritsky District, Tver Governorate in 1806 ...
.


First visit to Europe

In 1840, Aivazovsky was sent by the Imperial Academy of Arts to study in Europe. He first traveled to
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...

Venice
via
Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the List of cities in the European Union by ...

Berlin
and
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
and visited
San Lazzaro degli Armeni San Lazzaro degli Armeni (, "Saint Lazarus of the Armenians"; called Saint Lazarus Island in English sources; hy, Սուրբ Ղազար, Surb Ghazar) is a small island in the Venetian Lagoon The Venetian Lagoon ( it, Laguna di Venezia; vec, ...
, where an important
Armenian Catholic Armenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Armenia Armenia,, officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country located in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.The UN]classification of world regions places Arm ...
congregation was located and his brother Gabriel lived at the time. Aivazovsky studied Armenian manuscripts and became familiar with Armenian art. He met Russian novelist
Nikolai Gogol Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol (; rus, Никола́й Васи́льевич Го́голь, r=Nikolay Vasilyevich Gogol, p=nʲɪkɐˈlaj vɐˈsʲilʲjɪvʲɪtɕ ˈgogəlʲ; uk, link=no, Мико́ла Васи́льович Го́голь, trans ...

Nikolai Gogol
in Venice. He then headed to
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central-Northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Al ...

Florence
,
Amalfi Amalfi (, , ) is a town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides essential public servic ...

Amalfi
and
Sorrento Sorrento (, ; nap, Surriento ; la, Surrentum) is a town overlooking the Gulf of Naples, Bay of Naples in Southern Italy. A popular tourist destination, Sorrento is located on the Sorrentine Peninsula at the south-eastern terminus of the Circu ...

Sorrento
. In Florence, he met painter . He remained in
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of and the third-largest city of , after and , with a population of 967,069 within the city's administrative limits as of ...

Naples
and
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
between 1840 and 1842. Aivazovsky was heavily influenced by Italian art and their museums became the "second academy" for him. According to Rogachevsky the news of successful exhibitions in Italy reached Russia.
Pope Gregory XVI Pope Gregory XVI ( la, Gregorius XVI; born Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari; 18 September 1765 – 1 June 1846) was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 2 February 1831 to his death in 1846. He had adopted the name Mauro up ...

Pope Gregory XVI
awarded him with a golden medal. He then visited Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain. In an international exhibition at
the Louvre The Louvre ( ), or the Louvre Museum ( ), is the world's most-visited museum, and a historic landmark in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of Fr ...
, he was the only representative from Russia. In France, he received a gold medal from the
Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture The Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture (; en, "Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture") was founded in 1648 in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most popu ...
. He then returned to Naples via Marseille and again visited Britain, Portugal, Spain, and Malta in 1843. Aivazovsky was admired throughout Europe. He returned to Russia via Paris and Amsterdam in 1844.


Return to Russia and first marriage

Upon his return to Russia, Aivazovsky was made an academician of the Imperial Academy of Arts and was appointed the "official artist of the Russian Navy to paint seascapes, coastal scenes and naval battles." In 1845, Aivazovsky traveled to the
Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi is an elongated Bay, embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between Europe's Geography of Europe, Balkan peninsula and Asia's Anatolia peninsula. The sea has an area of some 215,000 square kilometres. In ...

Aegean Sea
with Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich and visited the Ottoman capital,
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
, and the Greek islands of
Patmos Patmos ( el, Πάτμος, ) is a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its popu ...
and
Rhodes Rhodes (; el, Ρόδος, translit=Ródos ) is the largest of the Dodecanese The Dodecanese (, ; el, Δωδεκάνησα, ''Dodekánisa'' , literally "twelve islands") are a group of 15 larger plus 150 smaller Greek#REDIRECT Greek Gre ...

Rhodes
. In 1845, Aivazovsky settled in his hometown of Feodosia, where he built a house and studio. He isolated himself from the outside world, keeping a small circle of friends and relatives. Yet the solitude played a negative role in his art career. By the mid-nineteenth century, Russian art was moving from
Romanticism Romanticism (also known as the Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, musical, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe towards the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to ...
towards a distinct Russian style of
Realism Realism, Realistic, or Realists may refer to: In the arts *Realism (arts), the general attempt to depict subjects truthfully in different forms of the arts Arts movements related to realism include: *Classical Realism *Literary realism, a movem ...
, while Aivazovsky continued to paint Romantic seascapes and attracted heavy criticism. In 1845 and 1846, Aivazovsky attended the maneuvers of the
Black Sea Fleet Black is a color which results from the absence or complete absorption Absorption may refer to: Chemistry and biology *Absorption (chemistry), diffusion of particles of gas or liquid into liquid or solid materials *Absorption (skin), a rout ...

Black Sea Fleet
and the Baltic Fleet at
Petergof Petergof (russian: Петерго́ф) or Peterhof (an emulation of early modern Dutch language, Dutch "Piterhof", meaning "Peter's Court"), known as Petrodvorets () from 1944 to 1997, is a administrative divisions of Saint Petersburg, municipal ...
, near the imperial palace. In 1847, he was given the title of professor of seascape painting by the Imperial Academy of Arts and elevated to the rank of nobility. In the same year, he was elected to the
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences ( nl, Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, abbreviated: KNAW) is an organization dedicated to the advancement of science and literature in the Netherlands. The academy is housed i ...
. In 1848, Aivazovsky married Julia Graves, an English governess. They had four daughters: Elena (1849), Maria (1851), Alexandra (1852) and Joanne (1858). They separated in 1860 and divorced in 1877 with permission from the
Armenian Church Armenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country located in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.The UN ...
, since Graves was a
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology ...
.


Rise to prominence

In 1851, traveling with the Russian emperor , Aivazovsky sailed to
Sevastopol Sevastopol (Russian, Ukrainian: Севастополь); is the largest city in Crimea Crimea (; ; uk, Крим, Krym; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ) ...

Sevastopol
to participate in military maneuvers. His archaeological excavations near Feodosia lead to his election as a full member of the
Russian Geographical Society The Russian Geographical Society (Russian: Ру́сское географи́ческое о́бщество «РГО») (RGO) is a learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic associati ...
in 1853. In that year, the
Crimean War The Crimean War, , was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russian Empire, Russia lost to an alliance of Second French Empire, France, the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, ...
erupted between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, and he was evacuated to
Kharkiv Kharkiv ( uk, Харкі́в, ), also known as Kharkov (russian: Харькoв), is the second-largest city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1 ...

Kharkiv
. While safe, he returned to the besieged fortress of Sevastopol to paint battle scenes. His work was exhibited in Sevastopol while it was under Ottoman siege. Between 1856 and 1857, Aivazovsky worked in Paris and became the first Russian (and the first non-French) artist to receive the
Legion of Honour The National Order of the Legion of Honour (french: Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur), formerly the Royal Order of the Legion of Honour (') is the highest French order of merit An order of merit is an honorific order Order or ORDER or ...
. In 1857, Aivazovsky visited Constantinople and was awarded the
Order of the Medjidie Order of the Medjidie ( tr, Mecidiye Nişanı, August 29, 1852 – 1922) is the name of a military and civilian order of the Ottoman Empire. The Order was instituted in 1851 by Ottoman Sultan, Sultan Abdulmejid I. History Instituted in 1851, the O ...
. In the same year, he was elected an honorary member of the Moscow Art Society. He was awarded the Greek
Order of the Redeemer The Order of the Redeemer ( el, Τάγμα του Σωτήρος, translit=Tágma tou Sotíros), also known as the Order of the Saviour, is an order of merit of Greece. The Order of the Redeemer is the oldest and highest decoration awarded by the m ...

Order of the Redeemer
in 1859 and the Russian in 1865. Aivazovsky opened an art studio in Feodosia in 1865 and was awarded a salary by the Imperial Academy of Arts the same year.


Travels and accolades: 1860s–1880s

In the 1860s, the artist produced several paintings inspired by Greek nationalism and the
Italian unification The unification of Italy ( it, Unità d'Italia ), also known as the ''Risorgimento'' (, ; meaning "Resurgence"), was the 19th-century political and social movement that resulted in the Merger (politics), consolidation of List of historic stat ...

Italian unification
. In 1868, he once again visited Constantinople and produced a series of works about the Greek resistance to the Turks, during the Great Cretan Revolution. In 1868, Aivazovsky traveled in the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
and visited the Russian part of Armenia for the first time. He painted several mountainous landscapes and in 1869 held an exhibition in
Tiflis Tbilisi ( ; ka, თბილისი ), in some languages still known by its pre-1936 name Tiflis ( ), is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters ...

Tiflis
. Later in the year, he made a trip to Egypt and took part in the opening ceremony of the
Suez Canal The Suez Canal ( ar, قَنَاةُ ٱلسُّوَيْسِ, ') is an artificial sea-level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an mean, average level of the surface of one or more of Earth's bodies of water from which hei ...
. He became the "first artist to paint the Suez Canal, thus marking an epoch-making event in the history of Europe, Africa and Asia." In 1870, Aivazovsky was made an Actual Civil Councilor, the fourth highest civil rank in Russia. In 1871, he initiated the construction of the archaeological museum in Feodosia. In 1872, he traveled to Nice and Florence to exhibit his paintings. In 1874, the
Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze The Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze ("academy of fine arts of Florence") is an instructional art academy in Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central-Northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italia ...
(Florence Academy of Fine Art) asked him for a self-portrait to be hung in the
Uffizi Gallery The Uffizi Gallery (; it, Galleria degli Uffizi, italic=no, ) is a prominent art museum An art museum is a building or space for the display of art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapi ...
. The same year, Aivazovsky was invited to Constantinople by Sultan Abdülaziz who subsequently bestowed upon him the Turkish
Order of Osmanieh The Order of Osmanieh or Order of Osmaniye ( tr, Osmaniye Nişanı) was a civil and military decoration Military awards and decorations are distinctions given as a mark of honor for military heroism, meritorious or outstanding service or achiev ...

Order of Osmanieh
. In 1876, he was made a member of the Academy of Arts in Florence and became the second Russian artist (after
Orest Kiprensky Orest Adamovich Kiprensky (russian: Орест Адамович Кипренский -) was a leading Russians, Russian portraitist in the Age of Romanticism. His most familiar work is probably his portrait of Alexander Pushkin (1827), which prom ...
) to paint a self-portrait for the
Palazzo Pitti The Palazzo Pitti (), in English sometimes called the Pitti Palace, is a vast, mainly Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. was a period in European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages ...

Palazzo Pitti
. Aivazovsky was elected an honorary member of Stuttgart's Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1878. He made a trip to the Netherlands and France, staying briefly in
Frankfurt Frankfurt, officially Frankfurt am Main (; Hessian dialects, Hessian: , "Franks, Frank ford (crossing), ford on the Main (river), Main"; french: Francfort-sur-le-Main), is the most populous city in the States of Germany, German state of Hess ...

Frankfurt
until 1879. He then visited
Munich Munich ( ; german: München ; bar, Minga ) is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria. With a population of 1,558,395 inhabitants as of 31 July 2020, it is the List of cities in Germany by population, third-largest city in Germany, ...

Munich
and traveled to
Genoa Genoa ( ; it, Genova ; locally ; lij, Zêna ; English, historically, and la, Genua) is the capital of the Regions of Italy, Italian region of Liguria and the List of cities in Italy, sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived ...

Genoa
and Venice "to collect material on the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus." In 1880, Aivazovsky opened an art gallery in his Feodosia house; it became the third museum in the Russian Empire, after the
Hermitage Museum The State Hermitage Museum ( rus, Госуда́рственный Эрмита́ж, r=Gosudárstvennyj Ermitáž, p=ɡəsʊˈdarstvʲɪn(ː)ɨj ɪrmʲɪˈtaʂ, links=no) is a museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is an ...

Hermitage Museum
and the
Tretyakov Gallery The State Tretyakov Gallery (russian: Государственная Третьяковская Галерея, ''Gosudarstvennaya Tretyâkovskaya Galereya''; abbreviated ГТГ, ''GTG'') is an art gallery in Moscow, Russia, the foremost deposito ...
. Aivazovsky held an 1881 exhibition at London's Pall Mall, attended by English painter
John Everett Millais Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Baronet, ( , ; 8 June 1829 – 13 August 1896) was an English painter The following is a list of notable Kingdom of England, English and United Kingdom, British painters (in chronological order). English pai ...

John Everett Millais
and
Edward VII Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of Engla ...

Edward VII
,
Prince of Wales Prince of Wales ( cy, Tywysog Cymru, ) is a title traditionally and ceremonially granted to the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line o ...

Prince of Wales
.


Second marriage and later life

Aivazovsky's second wife, Anna Burnazian, was a young Armenian widow 40 years his junior. Aivazovsky said that by marrying her in 1882, he "became closer to nation", referring to the Armenian people. In 1882, Aivazovsky visited Moscow and St Petersburg and then toured the countryside of Russia by traveling along the
Volga River The Volga (; russian: Во́лга, a=Ru-Волга.ogg, p=ˈvoɫɡə) is the longest river in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention ra ...
in 1884. In 1885, he was promoted to the rank of Privy Councilor. The next year, the 50th anniversary of his creative labors, was celebrated with an exhibition in St Petersburg, and an honorary membership in the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts. In 1887, as part of a jubilee celebration of his career, Aivazovsky hosted a dinner for 150 friends. Each guest received a miniature painting by Aivazovsky set into a studio photograph of the artist at work. After meeting Aivazovsky in person,
Anton Chekhov Anton Pavlovich Chekhov ( rus, links=no, Антон Павлович ЧеховIn Chekhov's day, his name was written Антонъ Павловичъ Чеховъ. See, for instanceАнтонъ Павловичъ Чеховъ. 1898. ''Муж ...
wrote a letter to his wife on 22 July 1888 describing him as follows: After traveling to Paris with his wife, in 1892 he made a trip to the United States, visiting
Niagara Falls Niagara Falls is a group of three waterfalls at the southern end of Niagara Gorge, spanning the Canada–United States border, border between the Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Ontario in Canada and the U.S. state, state o ...

Niagara Falls
in New York and Washington D.C. In 1896, at 79, Aivazovsky was promoted to the rank of full privy councillor. Aivazovsky was deeply affected by the
Hamidian massacres #REDIRECT Hamidian massacres#REDIRECT Hamidian massacres The Hamidian massacres ( hy , Համիդյան ջարդեր, tr , Hamidiye Katliamı, french: Massacres hamidiens), also referred to as the Armenian Massacres of 1894–1896. were massacr ...
that took place in the Armenian-inhabited areas of the Ottoman Empire between 1894 and 1896. He painted a number of works on the subject such as ''The Expulsion of the Turkish Ship'', and ''The Armenian Massacres at Trebizond'' (1895). He threw the medals given to him by the Ottoman Sultan into the sea and told the Turkish consul in Feodosia: "Tell your bloodthirsty master that I've thrown away all the medals given to me, here are their ribbons, send it to him and if he wants, he can throw them into the seas painted by me." He created several other paintings capturing the events, such as ''Lonely Ship'' and ''Night. Tragedy in the Sea of Marmara'' (1897). He spent his final years in Feodosia. In the 1890s, thanks to his efforts a commercial port ( ru) was established in Feodosia and linked to the railway network of the Russian Empire. The railway station, opened in 1892, is now called and is one of the two stations within the city of Feodosia. Aivazovsky also supplied Feodosia with drinking water.


Death

Aivazovsky died on 19 April (2 May in New Style) 1900 in Feodosia. In accordance with his wishes, he was buried at the courtyard of St. Sargis Armenian Church. A white marble
sarcophagus A sarcophagus (plural sarcophagi or sarcophaguses) is a box-like funeral receptacle for a cadaver, corpse, most commonly carved in stone, and usually displayed above ground, though it may also be buried. The word ''sarcophagus'' comes from th ...

sarcophagus
was made by Italian sculptor L. Biogiolli in 1901. A quote from
Movses Khorenatsi Movses Khorenatsi (ca. 410–490s AD; hy, Մովսես wikt:խորենացի, Խորենացի, , also written as ''Movses Xorenac‘i'' and Moses of Khoren, Moses of Chorene, and Moses Chorenensis in Latin sources) was a prominent Armenian histo ...

Movses Khorenatsi
's ''
History of Armenia The history of Armenia covers the topics related to the history of the Armenia, Republic of Armenia, as well as the Armenians, Armenian people, the Armenian language, and the regions historically and Armenian Highlands, geographically conside ...
'' in
Classical Armenian Classical Armenian (, in Eastern Armenian Eastern Armenian ( ''arevelahayeren'') is one of the two standard language, standardized forms of Modern Armenian, the other being Western Armenian. The two standards form a pluricentric language. ...
is engraved on his tombstone: (), which translates: "He was born a mortal, left an immortal legacy" or "Born as a mortal, left the immortal memory of himself". The Russian inscription beneath reads: "Professor Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky 1817–1900" (). After his death, his wife Anna led a generally secluded life, living in several rooms she had retained after nationalization, until 1941. She died on 25 July 1944 and was buried next to Aivazovsky. Two of his daughters (Maria and Alexandra) left Russia following the Revolution of 1917, while the other two died shortly thereafter: Yelena in 1918 and Zhanna in 1922.


Art

During his 60-year career, Aivazovsky produced around 6,000 paintings of, what one online art magazine describes, "very different value ... there are masterpieces and there are very timid works". However, according to one count as many as 20,000 paintings are attributed to him. The vast majority of Aivazovsky's works depict the sea. He rarely drew dry-landscapes and created only a handful of portraits. According to
Rosa Newmarch Rosa or De Rosa may refer to: People *Rosa (given name) *Rosa (surname) Places *223 Rosa, an asteroid *Rosa, Alabama, United States *Rosa, Germany, in Thuringia, Germany *Rösa, a village and former municipality in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany *Rosà ...
Aivazovsky "never painted his pictures from nature, always from memory, and far away from the seaboard." Rogachevsky wrote that "His artistic memory was legendary. He was able to reproduce what he had seen only for a very short time, without even drawing preliminary sketches." Bolton praised "his ability to convey the effect of moving water and of reflected sun and moonlight."


Exhibitions

He held 55 solo exhibitions (an unprecedented number) over the course of his career. Among the most notable were held in Rome, Naples and Venice (1841–42), Paris (1843, 1890), Amsterdam (1844), Moscow (1848, 1851, 1886), Sevastopol (1854), Tiflis (1868), Florence (1874), St. Petersburg (1875, 1877, 1886, 1891), Frankfurt (1879), Stuttgart (1879), London (1881), Berlin (1885, 1890), Warsaw (1885), Constantinople (1888), New York (1893), Chicago (1893), San Francisco (1893). He also "contributed to the exhibitions of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1836–1900),
Paris Salon The Salon (french: Salon), or rarely Paris Salon (French: ''Salon de Paris'' ), beginning in 1667 was the official art exhibition satirizes the ''bourgeoisie Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous French term that can mean: * a sociologically ...
(1843, 1879), Society of Exhibitions of Works of Art (1876–83), Moscow Society of Lovers of the Arts (1880), Pan-Russian Exhibitions in Moscow (1882) and Nizhny Novgorod (1896), World Exhibitions in Paris (
1855 Events January–March * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day s ...
,
1867 Events January–March * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modifi ...
,
1878 Events January–March * January 5 Events Pre-1600 *1477 – Battle of Nancy: Charles the Bold is defeated and killed in a conflict with René II, Duke of Lorraine; Duchy of Burgundy, Burgundy subsequently becomes part of Fra ...
), London (1863), Munich (1879) and Chicago (1893) and the international exhibitions in Philadelphia (1876), Munich (1879) and Berlin (1896)."


Style

A primarily Romantic painter, Aivazovsky used some Realistic elements. Leek argued that Aivazovsky remained faithful to
Romanticism Romanticism (also known as the Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, musical, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe towards the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to ...
throughout his life, "even though he oriented his work toward the Realist genre." His early works are influenced by his Academy of Arts teachers Maxim Vorobiev and
Sylvester Shchedrin Sylvester Feodosiyevich Shchedrin (russian: Сильвестр Феодосиевич Щедрин; 13 February 17918 November 1830) was a Russian landscape painter. Biography Sylvester Shchedrin was born in St. Petersburg into the family of t ...
. Classic painters like
Salvator Rosa Salvator Rosa (June 20 or July 21, 1615 – March 15, 1673) was an Italian Baroque The Baroque (, ; ) is a Style (visual arts), style of Baroque architecture, architecture, Baroque music, music, Baroque dance, dance, Baroque painting, painting ...

Salvator Rosa
, Jacob Isaacksz van Ruisdael and Claude Lorrain contributed to Aivazovsky's individual process and style. Karl Bryullov, best known for his ''The Last Day of Pompeii'', "played an important part in stimulating Aivazovsky's own creative development," according to Bolton. Aivazovsky's best paintings in the 1840s–1850s used a variety of colors and were both epic and romantic in theme. Newmarch suggested that by the mid-19th century the romantic features in Aivazovsky’'s work became "increasingly pronounced." She, like most scholars, considered his ''Ninth Wave'' his best piece of art and argued that it "seems to mark the transition between fantastic color of his earlier works, and the more truthful vision of the later years." By the 1870s, his paintings were dominated by delicate colors; and in the last two decades of his life, Aivazovsky created a series of silver-toned seascapes. The distinct transition in Russian art from Romanticism to Realism in the mid-nineteenth century left Aivazovsky, who would always retain a Romantic style, open to criticism. Proposed reasons for his unwillingness or inability to change began with his location; Feodosia was a remote town in the huge Russian empire, far from Moscow and Saint Petersburg. His mindset and worldview were similarly considered old-fashioned and did not correspond to the developments in Russian art and culture. Vladimir Stasov only accepted his early works, while Alexandre Benois wrote in his ''The History of Russian Painting in the 19th Century'' that despite being Vorobiev's student, Aivazovsky stood apart from the general development of the Russian landscape school. Aivazovsky's later work contained dramatic scenes and was usually done on a larger scale. He depicted "the romantic struggle between man and the elements in the form of the sea (''The Rainbow'', 1873), and so-called "blue marines" (''The Bay of Naples in Early Morning'', 1897, ''Disaster'', 1898) and urban landscapes (''Moonlit Night on the Bosphorus'', 1894)."


Works


Landscapes

File:Лазоревый грот. Неаполь.jpg, ''Azure Grotto, Naples'' (1841) File:Галатская башня в лунном свете.jpg, ''The Galata Tower by Moonlight'' (1845) File:Aivazovsky - View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus.jpg, ''View of Constantinople'', with the Nusretiye Mosque (1856) File:Иван К. Айвазовский - От Млеты до Гудаури (1868).jpg, ''From Mleta to Gudauri'' (1868) File:Вид Тифлиса кисти Ивана Айвазовского, 1869 год.JPG, ''View of
Tiflis Tbilisi ( ; ka, თბილისი ), in some languages still known by its pre-1936 name Tiflis ( ), is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters ...

Tiflis
'' (1869) File:Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky - Moscow in Winter from the Sparrow Hills.JPG, ''Moscow in Winter from the Sparrow Hills'' (1872)


Seascapes

File:Иван Константинович Айвазовский - Ночь в Гурзуфе.jpg, ''Night at Gurzuf'' File:Russians at navarino.jpg, ''Battle of Navarino'' (1848) File:Иван К. Айвазовский - Бриг Меркурий после победы над двумя турецкими кораблями (1848).jpg, ''The brig Mercury encounter after defeating two Turkish ships of the Russian squadron'' (1848) File:Aivazovsky Ivan Konstantinovich Bracing The Waves.jpg, ''Bracing The Waves'' File:Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky - Battle of Çesme at Night.JPG, ''Battle of Çesme at Night'' (1856) File:Ivan Aivazovsky Bucht von Neapel 1842.jpg, ''Bay of
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of and the third-largest city of , after and , with a population of 967,069 within the city's administrative limits as of ...

Naples
'' (1842) File:Aivazovsky gibraltar.jpg, ''American Shipping off the Rock of Gibraltar'' (1873) File:Айвазовский (Гайвазовский) Иван (Оганес) Константинович Радуга.jpg, ''Rainbow'' (1873) File:Aivasovsky I C Ship "Twelve Apostles".jpg, ''Ship "Twelve Apostles"'' (1878) File:Aivazovsky - Sea coast at night. Near the beacon.jpg, ''Sea coast at night. Near the beacon'' (1837) Image:The Burning of the Turkish Flagship by Kanaris - Ivan Aivazovsky, 1881.png, ''The burning of the Turkish flagship by Konstantinos Kanaris, Kanaris'' (1881) File:Aivazovsky Seascape with a steamer.jpg, ''Seascape with a steamer'' (1886) File:File-Ivan Aivazovsky - Tempset by Sounion.jpg, Tempest by Sounion (1856) File:Picture "anger of the seas" by Aivasovsky.jpg, ''The Wrath Of The Seas'' (1886) File:Aivazovsky, Brig Mercury Attacked by Two Turkish Ships 1892.jpg, ''Brig "Mercury" Attacked by Two Turkish Ships'' (1892) File:Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky - Lake Maggiore in the Evening.JPG, ''Lake Maggiore in the Evening'' (1892)


Religious paintings

File:Aivazovsky Chaos 1841.jpg, ''Chaos'' (1841) File:Po vodam 1888.jpg, ''Jesus walking on water'' (1888) File:Po vodam.jpg, ''Jesus walking on water'' (1890) File:Aivazovsky Passage of the Jews through the Red Sea.jpg, ''Passage of the Jews through the Red Sea'' (1891)


Orientalist themes

File:Aivazovsky Bosporus.jpg, ''Bosphorus'' File:Айвазовский (Гайвазовский) Иван (Оганес) Константинович Лунная ночь на Босфоре.jpg, ''A Moonlit Night on the Bosphorus'' File:Constantinople la mosquée de Top-Kahné-Ivan Aivazovski mg 8270.jpg, ''Top-Kahne Mosque'' (Nusretiye Mosque) File:View of constantinople by evening light.jpg, ''View of Constantinopole by Evening Light'' File:Aivazovsky - Scenes from Cairo's life.jpg, ''Scenes from Cairo, Cairo's Life'' File:Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky - Boat Ride by Kumkapi in Constantinople.JPG, ''Boat Ride by Kumkapı in Constantinople'' File:Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky - Sunset over the Golden Horn.JPG, ''Sunset over the Golden Horn'' File:Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky - Dusk on the Golden Horn.JPG, ''Dusk on the Golden Horn'' File:Ivan Aivazovsky Trebizond 1887.jpg, ''Trabzon, Trebizond'' File:Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky - Coffee-house by the Ortaköy Mosque in Constantinople.JPG, ''Coffee-house by the Ortaköy Mosque in Constantinople'' File:Иван К. Айвазовский - Великая Пирамида в Гизе (1871).jpg, ''The Great Pyramid of Giza'' File:Башни на скале у Босфора Айвазовского.jpg, ''Towers on the cliff near the Bosphorus (1859)''


Armenian themes

Aivazovsky's early works incorporated Armenian themes. The artist's longstanding wish to visit his ancestral homeland was fulfilled in 1868. During his visit to Russian (Eastern) Armenia (roughly corresponding to the modern Armenia, as opposed to
Western Armenia Western Armenia (Western Armenian: Արեւմտեան Հայաստան, ''Arevmdian Hayasdan'') is a term to refer to the eastern parts of Turkey (formerly the Ottoman Empire) that are part of the historical homeland of the Armenians. Western Ar ...

Western Armenia
under Ottoman rule), Aivazovsky created paintings of Mount Ararat, the Ararat plain, and Lake Sevan. Although Mt. Ararat has been depicted in paintings of many non-native artists (mostly European travelers), Aivazovsky became the first Armenian artist to illustrate the two-peaked biblical mountain. He resumed the creation of Armenian-related paintings in the 1880s: ''Valley of Mount Ararat'' (1882), ''Ararat'' (1887), ''Descent of Noah from Ararat'' (1889). The unique ''Valley of Mount Ararat'' contains Aivazovksy's signature in Armenian: "Aivazian" (). In a panorama of Venice expressed by ''Byron's Visit to the Mekhitarists on St Lazarus Island in Venice'' (1898); the foreground of the picture contains members of the Armenian Congregation giving an enthusiastic welcome to the poet. His other themed works from this period include rare portraits of notable Armenians, such as his brother Archbishop Gabriel Aivazovsky (:File:Gabriel Aivazovsky.jpg, 1882), Count Mikhail Loris-Melikov (:File:LorisMelikov Aivazovsky.jpg, 1888), Catholicos Mkrtich Khrimian (:File:Aivazovsky - Catholicos Khrimyan Airik near Echmiadzin.jpg, 1895), Nakhichevan-on-Don Mayor Аrutyun Khalabyan and others. ''The Baptism of Armenians'' and ''Oath Before the Battle of Avarayr'' (both 1892) depict the two single most memorable events of ancient Armenia: the Christianization of Armenia via baptism of King Tiridates III of Armenia, Tiridates III (early 4th century), and the Battle of Avarayr of 451. File:Valley of Mount Ararat by Ivan Aivazovsky (1882).jpg, ''Valley of Mount Ararat'' (1882) File:Aivazovsky - Descent of Noah from Ararat.jpg, ''Descent of Noah from Ararat'' (1889). National Gallery of Armenia File:Gregory the Illuminator.jpg, ''The Baptism of the Armenian People'' (by Gregory the Illuminator) avaray File:Aivazovsky - Oath befory Battle of Avarayr.jpg, ''Oath Before the Battle of Avarayr'' (1892) File:Bayron's visit to San Lazzaro by Aivazovsky (1899).jpg, ''Lord Byron's visit to
San Lazzaro degli Armeni San Lazzaro degli Armeni (, "Saint Lazarus of the Armenians"; called Saint Lazarus Island in English sources; hy, Սուրբ Ղազար, Surb Ghazar) is a small island in the Venetian Lagoon The Venetian Lagoon ( it, Laguna di Venezia; vec, ...
'' (1899) File:Aivazovsky - Catholicos Khrimyan Airik near Echmiadzin.jpg, Mkrtich Khrimian near Echmiadzin


Aivazovsky and archaeology

Aivazovsky took an interest in archaeology since the 1850s. He employed farmers to conduct archaeological excavations in the Feodosia area. In 1853 some 22 burial mounds were excavated on Mount Tepe-Oba, which mostly contained broken amphorae and bones, but also golden necklaces, earrings, a female head, 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. The site has been dated to the 5th to 3rd centuries BC when there was an ancient Greek settlement of Theodosia. The best finds were sent by Aivazovsky to the Hermitage Museum, Imperial Hermitage in Petersburg. In 1871 he founded the construction of a new Museum of Antiquities on Mount Mitridat (Feodosia), Mount Mitridat modeled after a typical Ancient Greek temple of the Doric order. It was destroyed during World War II.


Aivazovsky's estates

Aivazovsky was a major landowner who owned numerous estates in the eastern part of Crimea, mostly located not far from Feodosia. These estates delivered him significant income; more than the sale of his paintings. His earliest major estate, bestowed by the Emperor of All Russia, Emperor in 1848 along with a personal noble title, was the one at Shakh-Mamai (now called ). Located some from Feodosia, it initially covered an area of 2,500 Obsolete Russian units of measurement#Area, diasiatins (around ). The estate had an Eastern-style house, and one of its most prominent visitors,
Anton Chekhov Anton Pavlovich Chekhov ( rus, links=no, Антон Павлович ЧеховIn Chekhov's day, his name was written Антонъ Павловичъ Чеховъ. See, for instanceАнтонъ Павловичъ Чеховъ. 1898. ''Муж ...
, wrote that "It is an extravagant, fairy-tale estate of the kind you must probably find in Persia." By the end of his life, the estate had grown to include some 6,000 diasiatins of land, a dairy farm, and a steam-powered mill. The second major estate, located in Subash (now ), contained some 2,500 diasiatins of land. The site contained several natural springs, which Aivazovsky acquired in 1852 from the Lansky family. The latter also sold Aivazovsky 2,362 diasiatins of land. Later, Aivazovsky supplied Feodosia with water from Subash. In both estates, vegetables were grown. He had small estates in Romash-Eli (now Romanovka), with 338 diasiatins of land covered with orchards, and the Sudak Valley, with 12 diasiatins of vineyard, along with a dacha (summer house). In Feodosia, Aivazovsky possessed a house and a vineyard. He also owned houses elsewhere in Crimea, such as Stary Krym and Yalta. The estates inherited by his heirs were lost in the early Soviet period when they were nationalized.


Influence

Aivazovsky was the most influential seascape painter in nineteenth-century Russian art. According to the Russian Museum, "he was the first and for a long time the only representative of seascape painting" and "all other artists who painted seascapes were either his own students or influenced by him." Arkhip Kuindzhi (1841/2–1910) is cited by Krugosvet encyclopedia as having been influenced by Aivazovsky. In 1855, at age 13–14, Kuindzhi visited Feodosia to study with Aivazovsky, however, he was engaged merely to mix paints and instead studied with Adolf Fessler, Aivazovsky's student. A 1903 encyclopedic article stated: "Although Kuindzhi cannot be called a student of Aivazovsky, the latter had without doubt some influence on him in the first period of his activity; from whom he borrowed much in the manner of painting." English art historian John Ellis Bowlt, John E. Bowlt wrote that "the elemental sense of light and form associated with Aivazovsky's sunsets, storms, and surging oceans permanently influenced the young Kuindzhi." Aivazovsky also influenced Russian painters Lev Lagorio, , and (the latter two were his grandsons).


Recognition

Ivan Aivazovsky is one of the few Russian artists to achieve wide recognition during his lifetime. Today, he is considered as one of the most prominent marine artists of the 19th century, and, overall, one of the greatest marine artists in Russia and the world. Aivazovsky was also one of the few Russian artists to become famous outside Russia. In 1898, ''Munsey's Magazine'' wrote that Aivazovsky is "better known to the world at large than any other artist of his nationality, with the exception of the sensational Vasily Vereshchagin, Verestchagin". However, according to art historian Janet Whitmore, he is relatively unknown in the west. Art historian Rosalind Polly Blakesley noted in a 2003 book review that Aivazovsky has not been incorporated into the mainstream Western history of art.


In Russia

In a July 2017 poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, VTsIOM Aivazovsky ranked first as the most favorite artist with 27% of respondents naming him as their favorite, ahead of Ivan Shishkin (26%) and Ilya Repin (16%). Overall, 93% of respondents said they were familiar with his name (26% knew him well, 67% have heard his name) and 63% of those who know him said they liked his works, including 80% of those 60 or older and 35% of 18 to 24 year olds. In 1890, the ''Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary'' described him as the "best Russian marine painter". Ivan Kramskoi, one of the most prominent Russian artists of the nineteenth century, praised him thus: "Aivazovsky is—no matter who says what—a star of first magnitude, and not only in our [country], but also in history of art in general." Another Russian painter, Alexandre Benois, suggested that "Aivazovsky stands apart from the general history of the Russian school of landscape painting." The State Russian Museum website continues, "It is hard to find another figure in the history of Russian art enjoying the same popularity among amateur viewers and erudite professionals alike." Writing in 1861 in the magazine ''Vremya (magazine), Vremya'', Fyodor Dostoyevsky compared Aivazovsky's work with that of Alexandre Dumas as both artists "produce a remarkably striking effect: remarkable indeed, as neither man ever produces anything ordinary at all. Ordinary things, they despise. Their compositions are certainly quite fascinating. The books of Dumas were devoured with impatience; the paintings of Aivazovsky have been selling like hot cakes. Both produce works that are not dissimilar to fairy tales: fireworks, clatter, screams, howling winds, lightning." In nineteenth-century Russia, his name became a synonym for art and beauty. The phrase "worthy of Aivazovsky's brush" was the standard way of describing something ineffably lovely. It was first used by Anton Chekhov in his 1897 play ''Uncle Vanya''. In response to Marina Timofeevna's (the old nurse) query about the fight between Ivan Voynitsky ("Uncle Vanya") and Aleksandr Serebryakov, Ilya Telegin says that it was "A sight worthy of Aivazovsky's brush" ( ). A street in Moscow was named after Aivazovsky in 1978. His first and only statue in Russia was erected in 2007 in Kronstadt, near Saint Petersburg. The Simferopol International Airport in Crimea, under Russian administration, was voted to be named after Aivazovsky in 2018. It was officially renamed according to a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin on May 31, 2019, and ceremonially renamed on Russia Day (June 12).


In Armenia

Aivazovsky has always been considered an Armenian painter in his ancestral homeland and referred to by his Armenian name, Hovhannes. Virtually all Armenian, some Russian and English sources, refer to him by that name: Hovhannes Ayvazovski ( hy, Հովհաննես Այվազովսկի; russian: Ован(н)ес Айвазовский, ). He signed some of his paintings and letters in Armenian alphabet, Armenian. For instance, his signatures in both Armenian (, ) and Russian (, ) appear on ''Valley of Mount Ararat'' (1882). Aivazovsky has been described as the "most remarkable" Armenian painter of the 19th century and the first-ever Armenian marine painter. He was born outside Armenia proper, and like his contemporaries, including Gevorg Bashinjaghian, Panos Terlemezian, and Vardges Sureniants, Aivazovsky lived outside his homeland, drawing primary influences from European and Russian schools of art. His creativity and viewpoint have been attributed to his uniquely Armenian roots. According to Sureniants, he sought to create a union which would have brought together all Armenian artists around the world. The prominent Armenian poet Hovhannes Tumanyan wrote a short poem titled "In Front of an Aiazovsky painting" () in 1893. It is inspired by painting of the sea by Aivazovsky, mostly likely from the 1870s–1890s. It was translated into English in 1917 by Alice Stone Blackwell. Several paintings of Aivazovsky from the National Gallery of Armenia hang in the Presidential Palace, Yerevan, Presidential Palace in Yerevan. A bust of Aivazovsky was erected in Stepanakert in December 2021.


In Ukraine

In Ukraine, he is sometimes considered a Ukrainian painter. He was included in a 2001 book titled ''100 Greatest Ukrainians''. An alley in Kiev () was named after him in 1939. A three-star hotel in Odessa, where dozens of reproductions of his works are displayed, is named for him as well. A statue of Aivazovsky and his brother Gabriel is located in Simferopol, Crimea's administrative center. In June 2017 Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko claimed that Aivazovsky is "part of Ukrainian heritage." Russian media accused him of Cultural appropriation, appropriation of Aivazovsky.


In Turkey

Aivazovsky's paintings were popular in the Ottoman imperial court during the 19th century. According to ''Hürriyet Daily News'', as of 2014, 30 paintings of Aivazovsky are on display in museums in Turkey. According to , there are 41 paintings of Aivazovsky on display in Turkey, 21 in former palaces of Ottoman sultans, 10 in various marine and military museums, and 10 at the presidential residence. In 2007, when Abdullah Gül became president of Turkey, he brought paintings by Aivazovsky up from the basement to hang in his office during redecoration of the presidential palace, the Çankaya Mansion in Ankara. Pictures of official meetings of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the new Presidential Complex in Ankara show that the walls of the rooms at the presidential residence are decorated with Aivazovsky's artwork.


Legacy

Aivazovsky's house in Feodosia, where he had founded an art museum in 1880, is open to this day as the Aivazovsky National Art Gallery. It remains a central attraction in the city and holds the world's largest collections (417) of Aivazovsky paintings. A statue of the artist stands in front.


Posthumous honors

The Soviet Union (1950), Socialist Republic of Romania, Romania (1971), Madagascar (1988), Armenia (first in 1992), Russia (1995), Ukraine (1999), Abkhazia (1999), Moldova (2010), Kyrgyzstan (2010), Burundi (2012), and Mozambique (2013) have issued postage stamps depicting Aivazovsky or his works. The minor planet 3787 Aivazovskij, named after Aivazovsky, was discovered by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Chernykh in 1977. In 2016 and 2017 the 200th anniversary of Aivazovsky was celebrated with major exhibitions in several countries. An exhibition featuring 120 paintings and 55 etchings of Aivazovsky was held at the
Tretyakov Gallery The State Tretyakov Gallery (russian: Государственная Третьяковская Галерея, ''Gosudarstvennaya Tretyâkovskaya Galereya''; abbreviated ГТГ, ''GTG'') is an art gallery in Moscow, Russia, the foremost deposito ...
on Krymsky Val in Moscow from 29 July to 20 November 2016 dedicated to his 200th anniversary of birth. In the first 2 weeks, the exhibition had around 55,000 visitors, a record number. 38 of the works were moved from the Aivazovsky Art Gallery in Feodosia, which prompted Ukraine to call for an international boycott of the Tretyakov Gallery as it considers Crimea an occupied territory. Exhibitions were also held at the National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kiev, and the National Gallery of Armenia in Yerevan. In 2018, the third series of Armenian dram banknotes were issued. The 20,000 Dram banknote bears a portrait of Aivazovsky on the obverse and a view of his art museum and statue in Feodosia in the reverse.


Auctions

Aivazovsky's paintings began appearing in auctions (mostly in London) in the early 2000s. Many of his works are being bought by Russian oligarchs. His works have risen steadily in auction value. In November 2004, his ''Saint Isaac's Cathedral On A Frosty Day'', a rare cityscape, sold for around £1 million ($2.1 million). In 2007, his painting ''American Shipping off the Rock of Gibraltar'' auctioned at £2.71 million, "more than four times its top estimate". It was, "the highest price paid at auction for Aivazovsky" at the time. In April 2012, his 1856 work '':File:Aivazovsky - View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus.jpg, View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus'' was sold at Sotheby's for a record $5.2 million (£3.2 million), a tenfold increase since it was last at an auction in 1995.


Stolen paintings

In January 2011 a number of paintings, including those of Aivazovsky, were stolen from the country house of Aleksandr Tarantsev, an owner of a chain of jewelry stores in Russia. In 2017 it was reported that a fake of one of the paintings stolen from Tarantsev's house was presented to Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan by the Pyunik foundation. In June 2015 Sotheby's withdrew from auction an 1870 Aivazovsky painting ''Evening in Cairo'', which was estimated at £1.5–2 million ($2–$3 million), after the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Russia), Russian Interior Ministry claimed that it was stolen in 1997 from a private collection in Moscow. These allegations were not maintained before the English court, which ordered the return of the painting to the seller. In 2017 ''View on Revel'' (1845), stolen from the Dmitrov Kremlin Museum in 1976, was found at in Zürich, Switzerland.


Awards


Ranks

Table of Ranks, Russian Table of Ranks: *1870 – Actual Civil Councilor () *1885 – Privy Councilor () *1896 – Actual Privy Councilor ()


See also

*Russian culture *Armenian culture *Armenians in Crimea


References

Notes Citations


Bibliography

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Further reading


Books and articles on Aivazovsky

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Articles analyzing Aivazovsky's works

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External links


Chronological List of paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky


Galleries of Aivazovsky's paintings

* at the Russian State Museum
National Gallery of ArmeniaThe AthenaeumOld Istanbul paints
at Organization of Istanbul Armenians
Ivan Aivazovsky in collection of the Odessa Art Museum. Album. Odessa, Astroprint, 2012.
{{DEFAULTSORT:Aivazovsky, Ivan 1817 births 1900 deaths People from Feodosia Ethnic Armenian painters 19th-century Armenian painters 19th-century Russian painters Painters of the Russian Empire Russian male painters Armenian people of the Russian Empire Armenian romantic painters Russian romantic painters Russian landscape painters Imperial Academy of Arts alumni Russian marine artists Ethnic Armenian academics Chevaliers of the Légion d'honneur Members of the Imperial Academy of Arts Awarded with a large gold medal of the Academy of Arts