artist canvas
Portrait of Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky

Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky

17.07.1817 Feodosia, Crimea - 02.04.1900 Feodosia, Crimea

Art history: Romanticism

Canvases of Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky [128 canvases]

Biography of Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky

Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky was born in the family of a merchant of Armenian origin in the town of Feodosia, Crimea. His parents were under strained circumstances and he spent his childhood in poverty. With the help of people who had noticed the talented youth, he entered the Simpheropol gymnasium, and then the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, where he took the landscape painting course and was especially interested in marine landscapes. In the autumn of 1836 Aivazovsky presented 5 marine pictures to the Academic exhibition, which were highly appreciated. In 1837, Aivazovsky received the Major Gold Medal for Calm in the Gulf of Finland (1836) and The Great Roads at Kronstadt (1836), which allowed him to go on a long study trip abroad. However the artist first went to the Crimea to perfect himself in his chosen genre by painting the sea and views of Crimean coastal towns.

During the period of 1840-1844 Aivazovsky, as a pensioner of the Academy of Arts, spent time in Italy, traveled to Germany, France, Spain, and Holland. He worked much and had many exhibitions, meeting everywhere with success. He painted a lot of marine landscapes, which became very popular in Italy: The Bay of Naples by Moonlight (1842), Seashore. Calm (1843), Malta. Valetto Harbour (1844). His works were highly appreciated by J.W.M. Turner, a prominent English landscape and marine painter. In the course of his work, Aivazovsky evolved his own method of depicting the motion of the sea – from memory, without preliminary sketches, limiting himself to rough pencil outlines. Aivazovsky’s phenomenal memory and romantic imagination allowed him to do all this with incomparable brilliance. The development of this new method reflected the spirit of the age, when the ever-increasing romantic tendencies put an artist's imagination to the front.

When in 1844 the artist returned to St. Petersburg, he was awarded the title of Academician, and became attached to the General Naval Headquarters. This allowed him to travel much with Russian fleet expeditions on different missions; he visited Turkey, Greece, Egypt, America. From 1846 to 1848 he painted several canvases with naval warfare as the subject; the pictures portrayed historical battles of the Russian Fleet The Battle of Chesme (1848), The Battle in the Chios Channel (1848), Meeting of the Brig Mercury with the Russian Squadron... (1848).

Towards the 1850s the romantic features in Aivazovsky’s work became increasingly pronounced. This can be seen quite clearly in one of his best and most famous paintings The Tenth Wave (1850) and also in Moonlit Night (1849), The Sea. Koktebel. (1853), Storm (1854) and others.

The process, which determined the development of Russian art in the second half of the 19th century, also affected Aivazovsky. A new and consistently realistic tendency appeared in his work, although the romantic features still remained. The artist's greatest achievement of this period is The Black Sea (1881), a picture showing the nature of the sea, eternally alive, always in motion. Other important pictures of the late years are The Rainbow (1873), Shipwreck (1876), The Billow (1889), The Mary Caught in a Storm (1892).

Aivazovsky left more than 6000 pictures, which are of very different value. There are masterpieces and there are very timid works. He failed to draw landscapes, could not draw a man. Aivazovsky got good commissions and became rich. He spent much money for charity, especially for his native town, he opened in Feodosia the first School of Arts (in 1865), then the Art Gallery (in 1889). He was a member of Academies of Stuttgart, Florence, Rome and Amsterdam.

Famous canvases of Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky:

The Tenth Wave. Aivazovsky

Aivazovsky, Ivan Konstantinovich. The Tenth Wave

Storm. Aivazovsky

Aivazovsky, Ivan Konstantinovich. Storm
Aivazovsky, Ivan Konstantinovich.
Aivazovsky, Ivan Konstantinovich. Aivazovsky, Ivan Konstantinovich.

Seacoast. Aivazovsky

Aivazovsky, Ivan Konstantinovich. Seacoast
Aivazovsky, Ivan Konstantinovich.

Feodosia view. Aivazovsky

Aivazovsky, Ivan Konstantinovich. Feodosia view

Ararat mountain. Aivazovsky

Aivazovsky, Ivan Konstantinovich. Ararat mountain

You can find canvases of this artist in these museums:

  • Аахен. Собрание А. Ахназаряна
  • Алма-Ата. Государственный музей искусств Казахстана
  • Армения. Эчмиадзинский музей
  • Венеция. Остров св. Лазаря. Музей армянской конгрегации мхитаристов
  • Воронеж. Воронежский областной музей изобразительных искусств
  • National Gallery of Armenia
  • The State Tretyakov Gallery
  • The State Russian Museum
  • Гумри (Армения). Картинная галерея
  • Донецк. Донецкий художественный музей
  • Ереван. Армянское общество культурных связей
  • Ереван. Музей М. Сарьяна
  • Иркутск. Иркутский художественный музей
  • Казань. Государственный музей изобразительных искусств Республики Татарстан
  • Museum of russian art in Kiev
  • Курск. Областная картинная галерея им. А. А. Дейнеки
  • Махачкала. Дагестанский республиканский музей изобразительных искусств
  • Минск. Национальный художественный музей Республики Беларусь
  • Москва. Собрание А. Арутюняна
  • Москва. Собрание О.К. Арцелуева
  • Москва. Собрание С. Горшина
  • Нижний Новгород (Горький). Горьковский государственный художественный музей
  • Нижний Новгород (Горький). Нижегородский государственный художественный музей
  • Нью-Йорк. Собрание А. Шагиняна
  • Одесса. Одесский художественный музей
  • Париж. Собрание Г. Басмаджяна
  • Петергоф, Ленинградская область. Дворцы-музеи и парки Петродворца
  • Петергоф, Ленинградская область. Дилижанский краеведческий музей
  • Рига. Государственный художественный музей Латвии
  • Ростов. Ростовский областной музей изобразительных искусств
  • Санкт-Петербург. Военно-морское училище им. Ф. Э. Дзержинского
  • Санкт-Петербург. Центральный военно-морской музей
  • Саратов. Саратовский государственный художественный музей им. А.Н. Радищева
  • Ставрополь. Ставропольский краевой музей изобразительных искусств
  • Тбилиси. Государственный музей искусств Грузии
  • Тула. Тульский областной художественный музей
  • Feodosian art gallery by name of I. K. Aivazovsky
  • Yaroslavl art museum

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