(1817-1900) Russian Romantic Painter, master of marine art

Aivazovsky grew up in a poor family of the Armenian merchant. The boy named Ovannes (that was the artist`s real name; later on he would call himself Ivan, in the Russian way) loved to draw silhouettes of the ships and figures of the sailors. There was neither paper, no pencils at home, therefore Ovannes painted with charcoal on the fences and the whitewashed walls. Aivazovsky was caught in this criminal act by the architect and the mayor of Feodosia. They gave the talented boy his first albums and paints, sending him to study later on.


Storm At Sea, 1881


Along The Coast, 1875

Aivazovsky inspired the acknowledged British master of marine paintings William Turner to write a poem dedicated to his Russian colleague.

"...But even that moon is always beneath thee Oh Master most high, Oh forgive thou me If even this master was frightened for a moment Oh, noble moment, by art betrayed… And how may one not delight in thee, Oh thou young boy, but forgive thou me, If I shall bend my white head Before thy art divine Thy bliss-wrought genius…"


Ship On Stormy Seas, 1858


Wave, 1889 State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia


Among the Waves, 1898 Aivazovsky National Art Gallery, Feodosia

This is Aivazovsky's largest painting, measuring 111" x 167.3". It took him only 10 days to paint it, and he was 80 years old at the time