Ivan Aivazovsky

Russian, Romantic, 1817-1900

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The Ninth Wave
Ivan Aivazovsky
312 USD



Seascape (Tempest by Sounion)
Ivan Aivazovsky
315 USD

Night at Gurzof
Ivan Aivazovsky
320 USD

Battle of Navarino
Ivan Aivazovsky
314 USD
 
The Brig Mercury Encounter after Defeating two Turkish Ships of the Russian Squadron
Ivan Aivazovsky
253 USD
 
View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus
Ivan Aivazovsky
328 USD
 
American Shipping off the Rock of Gibraltar
Ivan Aivazovsky
308 USD
 
Rainbow
Ivan Aivazovsky
302 USD

Wave
Ivan Aivazovsky
282 USD

Battle of Chios on 24 June, 1770
Ivan Aivazovsky
318 USD

Vessels in a Swell at Sunset
Ivan Aivazovsky
262 USD

Sunset over Yalta
Ivan Aivazovsky
331 USD

Sea Coast, 1861
Ivan Aivazovsky
301 USD

Storm at Sea
Ivan Aivazovsky
302 USD

Sunset, Crimea
Ivan Aivazovsky
306 USD

Ship in the Stormy Sea
Ivan Aivazovsky
316 USD

Calm early Evening Sea
Ivan Aivazovsky
309 USD

Brig 'Mercury' Attacked by Two Turkish Ships
Ivan Aivazovsky
308 USD

Storm over the Black Sea
Ivan Aivazovsky
252 USD

The Ship 'Maria' in the Storm
Ivan Aivazovsky
308 USD

The Disembarkation of Christopher Columbus with Companions on Three Launches
Ivan Aivazovsky
995 USD

The Black Sea Fleet in Feodosia
Ivan Aivazovsky
337 USD

Sea ​​Coast, 1886
Ivan Aivazovsky
294 USD

The Bay of Naples
Ivan Aivazovsky
292 USD

Brig Mercury in Moonlight
Ivan Aivazovsky
299 USD

Crimean Coast by Moonlight
Ivan Aivazovsky
296 USD

Rescue at Sea
Ivan Aivazovsky
306 USD

Ship on Stormy Seas
Ivan Aivazovsky
295 USD

Gibraltar at Night
Ivan Aivazovsky
255 USD

Boat Ride by Kumkapi in Constantinople
Ivan Aivazovsky
690 USD

Kerch
Ivan Aivazovsky
297 USD

Calm Sea
Ivan Aivazovsky
261 USD

Sea View
Ivan Aivazovsky
297 USD

Fisherfolk on the Seashore, The Bay of Naples
Ivan Aivazovsky
302 USD

Venice from the Lagoon at Sunset
Ivan Aivazovsky
308 USD

Moonlight on the Bosphorus
Ivan Aivazovsky
304 USD

Moonlit Night on the Black Sea
Ivan Aivazovsky
262 USD

Pushkin at the Waters Edge
Ivan Aivazovsky
301 USD

Chumaks Leisure
Ivan Aivazovsky
287 USD

Broad Landscape with Settlers
Ivan Aivazovsky
287 USD

Farm House and Windmill by Moonlight
Ivan Aivazovsky
248 USD

Walking on Water, 1888
Ivan Aivazovsky
314 USD

Walking on Water, 1890s
Ivan Aivazovsky
331 USD

Portrait of Count M.T. Loris-Melikov
Ivan Aivazovsky
262 USD

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Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (29 July 1817 – 2 May 1900) was a Russian Romantic painter. He is considered one of the greatest marine artists in history. Baptized as Hovhannes Aivazian, Aivazovsky was born into an Armenian family in the Black Sea port of Feodosia and was mostly based in his native Crimea.

Following his education at the Imperial Academy of Arts, Aivazovsky traveled to Europe and lived briefly in Italy in the early 1840s. He then returned to Russia and was appointed the main painter of the Russian Navy. Aivazovsky had close ties with the military and political elite of the Russian Empire 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, was used in Russia for "describing something ineffably lovely."

One of the most prominent Russian artists of his time, Aivazovsky was also popular outside Russia. He held numerous solo exhibitions in Europe and the United States. During his almost sixty-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 seascapes, 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. 

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 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, to study at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Maxim Vorobiev's landscape class. In 1835, he was awarded with a silver medal and appointed assistant to the French painter Philippe Tanneur (fr). In September 1836, Aivazovsky met Russia's national poet Alexander Pushkin during the latter's visit to the Academy. In 1837, Aivazovsky joined the battle-painting class of Alexander Sauerweid and participated in Baltic Fleet exercises in the Gulf of Finland. 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, Pavel Nakhimov and Vladimir Kornilov.

First visit to Europe 

In 1840, Aivazovsky was sent by the Imperial Academy of Arts to study in Europe. He first traveled to Venice via Berlin and Vienna and visited San Lazzaro degli Armeni, where an important Armenian Catholic 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 in Venice. He then headed to Florence, Amalfi and Sorrento. In Florence, he met painter Alexander Ivanov. He remained in Naples and Rome between 1840 and 1842. Aivazovsky was heavily influenced by Italian art and their museums became the "second academy" for him. "The echo of the success of his Italian exhibitions was even heard in Russia." Pope Gregory XVI awarded him with a golden medal. He then visited Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain, where he met English painter J. M. W. Turner who, "was so struck by Aivazovsky's picture The Bay of Naples on a Moonlit Night that he dedicated a rhymed eulogy in Italian to Aivazovsky." In an international exhibition at the Louvre, he was the only representative from Russia. In France, he received a gold medal from the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture. 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.

Rise to prominence 

In 1851, traveling with the Russian emperor Nicholas I, Aivazovsky sailed to Sevastopol to participate in military maneuvers. His archaeological excavations near Feodosia lead to his election as a full member of the Russian Geographical Society in 1853. In that year, the Crimean War erupted between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, and he was evacuated to 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. In 1857, Aivazovsky visited Constantinople and was awarded the Order of the Medjidie. In the same year he was elected an honorary member of the Moscow Art Society. He was awarded the Greek Order of the Redeemer in 1859 and the Russian Order of St. Vladimir 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. 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 and visited the Russian part of Armenia for the first time. He painted several mountainous landscapes and in 1869 held an exhibition in Tiflis. Later in the year, he made a trip to Egypt and took part in the opening ceremony of the Suez Canal. 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 (Florence Academy of Fine Art) asked him for a self-portrait to be hung in the Uffizi Gallery. The same year, he Aivazovsky was invited to Constantinople by Sultan Abdülaziz who subsequently bestowed upon him the Turkish 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) to paint a self-portrait for the Palazzo Pitti.

Aivazovsky was elected an honorary member of Stuttgart's Royal Academy of Fine Arts (de) in 1878. He made a trip to the Netherlands and France, staying briefly in Frankfurt until 1879. He then visited Munich and traveled to 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 and the Tretyakov Gallery. Aivazovsky held an 1881 exhibition at London's Pall Mall, attended by John Everett Millais and Edward VII, Prince of Wales.

Aivazovsky the artist 

During his sixty-year career, Aivazovsky produced around 6,000 paintings "of very different value ... there are masterpieces and there are very timid works". The vast majority of his works depict the sea. He rarely drew dry-landscapes and created only a handful of portraits. Aivazovsky "never painted his pictures from nature, always from memory, and far away from the seaboard." "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." His "truth to nature amazed his contemporaries, particularly his ability to convey the effect of moving water and of reflected sun and moonlight."

Exhibitions

He held fifty-five 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 (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, 1867, 1878), London (1863), Munich (1879) and Chicago (1893) and the international exhibitions in Philadelphia (1876), Munich (1879) and Berlin (1896)."


Aivazovsky's paintings at State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Style

A primarily Romantic painter, Aivazovsky used some Realistic elements. Aivazovsky "remained faithful to this movement [Romanticism] all 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. Classic painters like 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".Aivazovsky's best paintings in the 1840s–1850s used a variety of colors and were both epic and romantic in theme. "Towards the 1850s the romantic features in Aivazovsky’'s work became increasingly pronounced." "His Ninth Wave, usually considered his masterpiece, 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 he was Vorobiev's student, Aivazovsky stood apart from the general development of the Russian landscape school.

"Aivazovsky's mature work is usually on a large scale and contains dramatic plots. During the later period in the artist's creativity, his favorite themes 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)."

Recognition

Ivan Aivazovsky is one of the few Russian artists to achieve wide recognition during their lifetime. The Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary explicitly described him as the "best Russian marine painter" in 1890.

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. He 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 Verestchagin". Although according to Janet Whitmore he is relatively unknown in the west.

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."

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[c] worthy of Aivazovsky's brush".

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 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." 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, Mikhail Latri, and Aleksey Ganzen (the last two were his grandsons).

Auctions

Aivazovsky's paintings began appearing in auctions (mostly in London) in the early 2000s. His works have risen steadily in auction value. Many of his works are bought by Russian oligarchs. In 2004, his Saint Isaac's Cathedral On A Frosty Day, a rare cityscape, unexpectedly sold for around £1 million ($1.9 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, a canvas belonging to the artist View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus (1856) was sold at Sotheby's for a record $5.2 million (£3.2 million), "well over its top estimate of £1.8m".

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 Russian Interior Ministry claimed that it was stolen in 1997 from a private collection in Moscow.

Source: Wikipedia