Exposition Art Blog: Seascapes Ivan Aivazovsky

Seascapes Ivan Aivazovsky

One of the most fascinating and richly talented artists of the past two centuries was undoubtedly the Armenian-Russian painter Ivan Aivazovsky. Ethnically an Armenian, he was born the city of Feodosiya which was then a part of the Russian Empire. Today Feodosiya is a port city in the Crimean Ukraine.
Although Aivazovsky was born in 1817 into a poor family, his father did an amazing job of providing him with a high quality education, teaching him to speak several languages fluently. The young Aivazovsky also showed extraordinary artistic potential from an early age, which proved to be his ticket to a future life of wealth and fame as one of Europe’s most brilliant artists.Aivazovsky earned a seat in the Simferopol gymnasium No. 1. His most important training came in Russia’s St. Petersburg Academy of Arts – his raw talent was his payment for a first-class education.

Ivan Aivazovsky is by far most known for painting magnificent seascapes, and is considered to be among the best in this category, perhaps “the best” all of history. Fully half of all his life works, which were many, depict ocean scenes with ships, magnificent sunsets, cloudscapes, ships and waves.
This talent earned him a huge amount of work from the Russian Navy. For them he painted numerous images of the sea and ships – a commission which would keep his income flowing and earn him many important connections with powerful people.

Aivazovsky was able to travel widely in his long life of 82 years. One of the most significant locations for him would be Istanbul in modern-day Turkey. There he received a number of commissions from the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. Many of his paintings are still on display today in the magnificent palaces of the former Ottoman rulers.His association with the Ottoman Turks would prove to be one of the most painful associations of his life considering that he was Armenian, and that his ethnic group suffered a horrific and violent purge at the hands of the Turks near the end of the 19th Century.

Ivan Aivazovsky’s paintings are noted for their magnificent use of light against waves and sea foam, which still causes art critics to marvel at his eye, skills and temporal insights. Most of his paintings were of coastal scenes which were imbued with a richly romantic flair. He not only ingeniously incorporated sunlight interacting with sea waves, but also moonlight, fire, clouds, mists and fogs.
Other favorite subject matters for Aivazovsky were scenes of the Ukrainian countryside featuring the work and activities of peasants and small rural towns. He also painted rural scenes in the outlying areas of Istanbul.
Despite his almost universally recognized and accepted genius, some art critics have complained that Aivazovsky did not vary his themes enough, and that many of his seascapes could appear repetitive, especially after one views hundreds of them. He has also been called melodramatic and perhaps given (www.totallyhistory.com)

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