The sea has acted as a muse for many artists throughout the centuries. Its mysterious nature coupled with its dual way of being – both helper and destroyer – made painters, photographers and writers try to capture it as faithfully as possible in their art. Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky was one of the painters who loved the sea and tried to capture it on canvas as often as possible. He is considered to this day one of the greatest marine artists in history.
The Russian artist was born at the beginning of the 19th century in Crimeea. He had a prolific career of about sixty years during which he painted approximately 6.000 paintings. Some paintings were astonishing pieces of art, while others were timid efforts. However, the vast majority of them depicted the sea. According to the Russian Arts by Rosa Newmarch, Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky “never painted his pictures from nature, always from memory, and far away from the seaboard.” He gained recognition for the way he managed to capture the essence of the sea, to recreate its shimmering beauty. His waves are perhaps the most mesmerizing parts of his paintings, light and translucent, yet powerful enough to trash great vessels around.
His works distinguish themselves from the art of other paintings due to the flawless way in which he manages to capture the beauty of the sea. His paintings recreate the motion and intensity of the water, not only the translucency and texture of the waves. He manages to convey all the facets of the sea in his works. Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky’s works were widely recognized and acclaimed even outside the Russian Empire. He received awards from France, Turkey and other countries as well. Moreover, he was the first non-French person to receive the Legion of Honor.
Have you ever seen Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky’s paintings in museums?