Friday, November 23, 2007


I think most of you already know how much I love art in general. This post is actually my answer to a friend. And the question was: What is so special about Aivazovsky?

One of the most forged of all Russian painters is Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky and yet his name is quite unknown for many art lovers.

(the portrait of Aivazovsky by Aleksey Tyranov, 1847)

Aivazovsky was of Armenian descent, mostly known by his marvelous seascapes paintings. He has the ability to create interesting atmosphere and many admired his choice and use of colors.

Aivazovsky was obviously enchanted by the sky and sea. His paintings show a great span of a different appearances and sky changes, from pale and misty mornings through storms, clouds and red sunsets. His sea movements are brilliant.

Sky and sea - both endless, both are conveying the feeling of eternity and freedom. And there is always human presence, like small figures by seashores, or indirectly - ships and architecture that emerges from a mists and sunsets.

In essence, I can say that the entire emphasis of his work was actually on light and lighting aspects.

This indeed has connection with Aivazovsky’s character. He loved to travel! At the age of 25 he was already internationally famous painter. Beside, he lived by his ideals – love for a freedom and compassion for the oppressed and less fortunate. He was a great humanist and romantic. Therefore it’s not strange that most of his money went to charity purposes and openings of art school and gallery. His house became a place for artistic pilgrimage and inspiration.

I won’t go into his biographical details, as you might notice already. I’m just trying to answer to the above mentioned question. So, what is so special about Aivazovsky? The fact that one can admire not just his art but also his character and personal philosophy. And that is rare my friend. As the quote on Aivazovsky’s tombstone nicely says: Born a mortal, he left immortal memories.

Pictures are taken from Wikipedia and SightsWithin


DG said...

That is truly nicely said. To admire one’s personality and art, that is indeed rare.

I am enchanted by waters. Colors in his Nocturnal Voyage are amazing.

Milena said...

It’s easy to understand it for us, water signs ;). I always lived by waters (first river, now lake)and I'm still dreaming about my sea house :)

Neo said...

I don't know anything about the painter but I like what I see here :)

Lorri said...

What a lovely write-up Milena, and his beautiful and incredible work speaks for itself, from contrasts to intensity, we feel we are a part of the scene, or want to be part of it.

Lorri said...

I forgot to mention...some of his work reminds me of Joseph Mallord William Turner.

Milena said...

Thank you Lorri.

Yes, Turner was also Romantic painter, like Aivazovsky.

the art of memory said...

very nice paintings, turner looking for sure.
lovely post as well.

Milena said...

Thanks Matthew :)

Henry said...

Ivan Aivazovsky was my grandmother's grandfather. He was a close friend and was patronised and friends of the Czars from NicholasI to NicholasII. He had an extraordinary life and character.
The best book on him (there are many) is by Ivan Samarine & Caffiero - 'Seas, Cities And Dreams'.
There is some information on him in login as Guest and navigate from 'family of Mickeladze''
His Grandson (my gt-uncle) Mischa Lattry was also an artist and, in my opinion, was perhaps more interesting. Henry

Milena said...

Nice to meet you Henry. Yes, Aivazovsky was an extraordinary man. I hope my entry will do justice to his character and art, at least partly.

Thanks a lot for the info. I'll try to find the book.

Mischa Lattry... Is he actually known as Michel Lattry?