Sunday, August 10, 2008

Art Blogging: Ivan Aivazovsky

Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900) was a Russian-Armenian Academic painter. Born in poverty in Crimea, he studied at a prestigious academy in St. Petersburg. He became commercially successful in 1837 after exhibiting an award-winning seascape. Aivazovsky then travelled throughout the Continent and developed a free-flowing style of painting seascapes that required very little preliminary work.

He was a very prolific artist, and produced over 6,000 works during his lifetime. Under long-term a commissions by Russian Navy, he produced many works glorifying naval warfare and travel.

The Great Roads at Kronstadt (oil on canvas, 1836, the Russian Museum). Seascapes make up the vast majority of Aivazovsky's corpus, and are noteworthy for their romantic (rather than realistic) depiction of motion.

View of Tblisi. Although Aivazovsky is not well-known for his landscapes, my favorite work of his is this depiction of the Georgian capital city for its careful perspective and vibrant colors. I can't locate any provenantial information about this work, but I am reasonably confident that it is his.

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