Ivan Aivazovsky

Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (Armenian Հովհաննես Կոստանդինի Այվազովսկի, Russian Иван Константинович Айвазовский, scientific transliteration Ivan Konstantinović Ajvazovskij; . * 17 Julijul / July 29 1817greg in Feodosiya, Crimea, Russian Empire, . † 19 Apriljul / May 2 1900greg. . Feodosiya ) was a Russian marine painter of Armenian descent. His last name was written in some works also Aiwazowsky.

Much of his work take a so-called Marines, where he was able to preserve its own style despite satisfying the prevailing fashion. This showed up just in the virtuoso design of light and shadow, such as lighting effects of the water.

Life and work

Aivazovsky was born into an Armenian family, and the Orientalist Gavriil Aivazovsky was his brother.

Aivazovsky got his first art lessons by a family friend, the German -born architect cook. This encouraged him to all forces and gave him the support of the City Commandant of Fedossija. When he was transferred to Simferopol, he took Aivazovsky and let him train there at his expense.

In Simferopol was Naryshkina Natalya, daughter of Count Fyodor Rostopchin, attentive to Aivazovsky and gave him an apprenticeship in the studio of the court painter Salvatore Tonci in Moscow. There Aivazovsky met the painter Alexander Olenin know who - convinced of Aivazovsky's talent - for those successful in Tsar Nicholas I asked for permission to be allowed to visit the Russian Academy of Arts.

With effect from August 23, 1833 Aivazovsky was in the Academy of St Petersburg student of Maxim Vorobyov. On personal request of Tsar Nicholas, the French marine painter Philippe Tanneur Aivazovsky's teacher. This teacher-student ratio designed from the outset to be extremely difficult because, inter alia, Tanneur some works Aivazovsky off as his own.

Generous assistance and other support came from Aivazovsky by the writer Vasily Zhukovsky and the history painter Alexander Sauerweid. In the house of the latter learned Aivazovsky the Admiral Konstantin Nikolayevich know who was very interested in the works of Aivazovsky. The summer months of 1836 Aivazovsky was touring in the wake of Admiral Finland and in the following year, the Crimea.

A generous travel grant by the Imperial Court allowed Aivazovsky 1839, via Berlin, Dresden, Vienna, Trieste, Venice and Florence to travel to Rome to study the ancient masters there. From there he traveled in 1840 to Paris, where he had been invited to participate in an exhibition of the Parisian salons. He returned in the spring of 1841 returned to Rome and visited the following year London, where he was staying for several weeks. His return journey took him from Lisbon and Madrid back to Rome.

1844 Aivazovsky returned via Amsterdam to St. Petersburg back. In Amsterdam, Aivazovsky was a first major solo exhibition show his works and was awarded by the Academy of Art Amsterdam with a gold medal. On the occasion of Aivazovsky's first audience with Tsar Nicholas I after his return he was appointed by the latter to the painter of the Naval Staff, with permission to wear the uniform of the imperial navy. In the same year took the Academy of Fine Arts of St. Petersburg Aivazovsky on as a full member.

1846 Aivazovsky was again able to visit in the wake of General Konstantin Nikolayevich Opel and from there travel around the country for several weeks.

On the occasion of his thirtieth birthday Aivazovsky was honored with the title of Professor in 1847. This year, he settled in his native town of Feodosia, where he had built a villa with a large studio can.

The Winter 1857/58 Aivazovsky spent in Paris, where he was able to participate in some exhibitions. In some of these works Empress Eugénie was attentive and also acquired two of them. During this time, Aivazovsky was also included as a knight in the Legion of Honor. In the spring of 1858 he returned to Fedossija back and lived there for the next twenty years, only interrupted by some short trips: in 1867 he lived in Constantinople Opel and on 16 November 1869, he took official missions to the opening at the Suez Canal in part; he should hold them for the Imperial Court in a monumental paintings.

In 1873 a major solo exhibition of Aivazovsky's works held in the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg; an almost identical exhibition took place in 1875 in Nice ( staged by the local Russian community ).

On the occasion of his 70th birthday in 1887, the Academy of Fine Arts of St. Petersburg named him an honorary member and had to also characterize a gold medal. In his acceptance speech Aivazovsky mentioned 4,000 images he had created so far.

From then on lived Aivazovsky retired in his hometown, where he died on May 2, 1900 aged nearly 83 years.

Works (selection)

  • Moonlight landscape in the Crimea
  • Sunrise in Venice
  • Sunset on Black sea
  • View of Kerch
  • Sunrise over the sea
  • Konstantin Opel in the moonlight
  • Coastal landscape in Italy
  • Gulf of Naples ( 1841)
  • The ninth wave ( 1850)
  • The Battle of Sinope (1853 )
  • The creation of the world. 1864, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
  • The Flood. 1864, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
  • North Sea storm. 1865, Aivazovsky Gallery, Feodosia, Crimea, Ukraine
  • American ships in the Gibraltar Rock. 1873, private collection ( Christie's auction, London, June 2007)
  • The Sea Coast ( 1886)
  • Coastal landscape in Italy. 1878, Private collection ( auction Koller, Zurich, 19 September 2008)
  • The Wave. 1889, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
  • Self-Portrait. 1889, Aivazovsky Gallery, Feodosia, Crimea, Ukraine
  • The ship MARIA by storm (1892 )
  • Between the waves. 1898, Aivazovsky Gallery, Feodosia, Crimea, Ukraine.


  • 2011: Aivazovsky. Painters of the sea. Bank Austria Art Forum, Vienna