Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (Russian: Ива́н Константи́нович Айвазо́вский; 29 July 1817 – 2 May 1900) was a Russian Romantic painter who is considered one of the greatest masters of marine art. Baptized as Hovhannes Aivazian, he was born into an Armenian family in the Black Sea port of Feodosia in Crimea and was mostly based there.
Following his education at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, Aivazovsky traveled to Europe and lived briefly in Italy in the early 1840s. He then returned to Russia and was appointed the main painter of the Russian Navy. Aivazovsky had close ties with the military and political elite of the Russian Empire and often attended military maneuvers. He was sponsored by the state and was well-regarded during his lifetime. The saying "worthy of Aivazovsky's brush", popularized by Anton Chekhov, was used in Russia for describing something lovely. He remains highly popular in Russia.
One of the most prominent Russian artists of his time, Aivazovsky was also popular outside Russia. He held numerous solo exhibitions in Europe and the United States. During his almost 60-year career, he created around 6,000 paintings, making him one of the most prolific artists of his time. The vast majority of his works are seascapes, but he often depicted battle scenes, Armenian themes, and portraiture. Most of Aivazovsky's works are kept in Russian, Ukrainian and Armenian museums as well as private collections.
|Born||Hovhannes Aivazian (baptized)|
29 July [O.S. 17 July] 1817
|Died||2 May [O.S. 19 April] 1900 (aged 82)|
Feodosia, Russian Empire
|Resting place||St. Sargis Armenian Church, Feodosia|
|Education||Member of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1845)|
|Alma mater||Imperial Academy of Arts (1839)|
|Known for||Painting, drawing|
|Spouse(s)||Julia Graves (1848–77)|
Anna Burnazian (1882–1900)
Ivan Aivazovsky was born on 17 July (29 in New Style) 1817 in the city of Feodosia (Theodosia), Crimea, Russian Empire. In the baptismal records of the local St. Sargis Armenian Apostolic Church, Aivazovsky was listed as Hovhannes, son of Gevorg Aivazian (Armenian: Գէորգ Այվազեանի որդի Յօհաննեսն). During his study at the Imperial Academy of Arts, he was known in Russian as Ivan Gaivazovsky (Иванъ Гайвазовскій in the pre-1918 spelling). He became known as Aivazovsky since c. 1840, while in Italy. He signed an 1844 letter with an Italianized rendition of his name: "Giovani Aivazovsky".
His father, Konstantin, (c. 1765–1840), was an Armenian merchant from the Polish region of Galicia. His family had migrated to Europe from Western Armenia in the 18th century. After numerous familial conflicts, Konstantin left Galicia for Moldavia, later moving to Bukovina, before settling in Feodosia in the early 1800s. He was initially known as Gevorg Aivazian (Haivazian or Haivazi), but he changed his last name to Gaivazovsky by adding the Polish "-sky". Aivazovsky's mother, Ripsime, was a Feodosia Armenian. The couple had five children—three daughters and two sons. Aivazovsky's elder brother, Gabriel, was a prominent historian and an Armenian Apostolic archbishop.
The young Aivazovsky received parochial education at Feodosia's St. Sargis Armenian Church. He was taught drawing by Jacob Koch, a local architect. Aivazovsky moved to Simferopol with Taurida Governor Alexander Kaznacheyev's family in 1830 and attended the city's Russian gymnasium. In 1833, Aivazovsky arrived in the Russian capital, Saint Petersburg, to study at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Maxim Vorobiev's landscape class. In 1835, he was awarded with a silver medal and appointed assistant to the French painter Philippe Tanneur (fr). In September 1836, Aivazovsky met Russia's national poet Alexander Pushkin during the latter's visit to the Academy. In 1837, Aivazovsky joined the battle-painting class of Alexander Sauerweid and participated in Baltic Fleet exercises in the Gulf of Finland. In October 1837, he graduated from the Imperial Academy of Arts with a gold medal, two years earlier than intended. Aivazovsky returned to Feodosia in 1838 and spent two years in his native Crimea. In 1839, he took part in military exercises in the shores of Crimea, where he met Russian admirals Mikhail Lazarev, Pavel Nakhimov and Vladimir Kornilov.
In 1840, Aivazovsky was sent by the Imperial Academy of Arts to study in Europe. He first traveled to Venice via Berlin and Vienna and visited San Lazzaro degli Armeni, where an important Armenian Catholic congregation was located and his brother Gabriel lived at the time. Aivazovsky studied Armenian manuscripts and became familiar with Armenian art. He met Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol in Venice. He then headed to Florence, Amalfi and Sorrento. In Florence, he met painter Alexander Ivanov. He remained in Naples and Rome between 1840 and 1842. Aivazovsky was heavily influenced by Italian art and their museums became the "second academy" for him. According to Rogachevsky the news of successful exhibitions in Italy reached Russia. Pope Gregory XVI awarded him with a golden medal. He then visited Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain, where he met English painter J. M. W. Turner who, "was so struck by Aivazovsky's picture The Bay of Naples on a Moonlit Night that he dedicated a rhymed eulogy in Italian to Aivazovsky." In an international exhibition at the Louvre, he was the only representative from Russia. In France, he received a gold medal from the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture. He then returned to Naples via Marseille and again visited Britain, Portugal, Spain, and Malta in 1843. Aivazovsky was admired throughout Europe. He returned to Russia via Paris and Amsterdam in 1844.
Upon his return to Russia, Aivazovsky was made an academician of the Imperial Academy of Arts and was appointed the "official artist of the Russian Navy to paint seascapes, coastal scenes and naval battles." In 1845, Aivazovsky traveled to the Aegean Sea with Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich and visited the Ottoman capital, Constantinople, and the Greek islands of Patmos and Rhodes.
In 1845, Aivazovsky settled in his hometown of Feodosia, where he built a house and studio. He isolated himself from the outside world, keeping a small circle of friends and relatives. Yet the solitude played a negative role in his art career. By the mid-nineteenth century, Russian art was moving from Romanticism towards a distinct Russian style of Realism, while Aivazovsky continued to paint Romantic seascapes and attracted heavy criticism.
In 1845 and 1846, Aivazovsky attended the maneuvers of the Black Sea Fleet and the Baltic Fleet at Petergof, near the imperial palace. In 1847, he was given the title of professor of seascape painting by the Imperial Academy of Arts and elevated to the rank of nobility. In the same year, he was elected to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In 1848, Aivazovsky married Julia Graves, an English governess. They had four daughters: Elena (1849), Maria (1851), Alexandra (1852) and Joanne (1858). They separated in 1860 and divorced in 1877 with permission from the Armenian Church, since Graves was a Lutheran.
In 1851, traveling with the Russian emperor Nicholas I, Aivazovsky sailed to Sevastopol to participate in military maneuvers. His archaeological excavations near Feodosia lead to his election as a full member of the Russian Geographical Society in 1853. In that year, the Crimean War erupted between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, and he was evacuated to Kharkiv. While safe, he returned to the besieged fortress of Sevastopol to paint battle scenes. His work was exhibited in Sevastopol while it was under Ottoman siege.
Between 1856 and 1857, Aivazovsky worked in Paris and became the first Russian (and the first non-French) artist to receive the Legion of Honour. In 1857, Aivazovsky visited Constantinople and was awarded the Order of the Medjidie. In the same year, he was elected an honorary member of the Moscow Art Society. He was awarded the Greek Order of the Redeemer in 1859 and the Russian Order of St. Vladimir in 1865.
Aivazovsky opened an art studio in Feodosia in 1865 and was awarded a salary by the Imperial Academy of Arts the same year.
In the 1860s, the artist produced several paintings inspired by Greek nationalism and the Italian unification. In 1868, he once again visited Constantinople and produced a series of works about the Greek resistance to the Turks, during the Great Cretan Revolution. In 1868, Aivazovsky traveled in the Caucasus and visited the Russian part of Armenia for the first time. He painted several mountainous landscapes and in 1869 held an exhibition in Tiflis. Later in the year, he made a trip to Egypt and took part in the opening ceremony of the Suez Canal. He became the "first artist to paint the Suez Canal, thus marking an epoch-making event in the history of Europe, Africa and Asia."
In 1870, Aivazovsky was made an Actual Civil Councilor, the fourth highest civil rank in Russia. In 1871, he initiated the construction of the archaeological museum in Feodosia. In 1872, he traveled to Nice and Florence to exhibit his paintings. In 1874, the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze (Florence Academy of Fine Art) asked him for a self-portrait to be hung in the Uffizi Gallery. The same year, Aivazovsky was invited to Constantinople by Sultan Abdülaziz who subsequently bestowed upon him the Turkish Order of Osmanieh. In 1876, he was made a member of the Academy of Arts in Florence and became the second Russian artist (after Orest Kiprensky) to paint a self-portrait for the Palazzo Pitti.
Aivazovsky was elected an honorary member of Stuttgart's Royal Academy of Fine Arts (de) in 1878. He made a trip to the Netherlands and France, staying briefly in Frankfurt until 1879. He then visited Munich and traveled to Genoa and Venice "to collect material on the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus."
In 1880, Aivazovsky opened an art gallery in his Feodosia house; it became the third museum in the Russian Empire, after the Hermitage Museum and the Tretyakov Gallery. Aivazovsky held an 1881 exhibition at London's Pall Mall, attended by English painter John Everett Millais and Edward VII, Prince of Wales.
Aivazovsky's second wife, Anna Burnazian, was a young Armenian widow 40 years his junior. Aivazovsky said that by marrying her in 1882, he "became closer to [his] nation", referring to the Armenian people. In 1882, Aivazovsky visited Moscow and St Petersburg and then toured the countryside of Russia by traveling along the Volga River in 1884.
In 1885, he was promoted to the rank of Privy Councilor. The next year, the 50th anniversary of his creative labors, was celebrated with an exhibition in St Petersburg, and an honorary membership in the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts.
Aivazovsky himself is a hale and hearty old man of about seventy-five, looking like an insignificant Armenian and an bishop; he is full of a sense of his own importance, has soft hands and shakes your hand like a general. He's not very bright, but he is a complex personality, worthy of a further study. In him alone there are combined a general, a bishop, an artist, an Armenian, an naive old peasant, and an Othello.
After traveling to Paris with his wife, in 1892 he made a trip to the United States, visiting Niagara Falls in New York and Washington D.C. In 1896, at 79, Aivazovsky was promoted to the rank of full privy councillor.
Aivazovsky was deeply affected by the Hamidian massacres that took place in the Armenian-inhabited areas of the Ottoman Empire between 1894 and 1896. He painted a number of works on the subject such as The Expulsion of the Turkish Ship, and The Armenian Massacres at Trebizond. He threw the medals given to him by the Ottoman Sultan into the sea and told the Turkish consul in Feodosia: "Tell your bloodthirsty master that I've thrown away all the medals given to me, here are their ribbons, send it to him and if he wants, he can throw them into the seas painted by me." He created several painting on the events, such as The Massacre of Armenians in Trebizond (1895), Lonely Ship, Night. Tragedy in the Sea of Marmara (1897).
Tomb of Aivazovsky
He spent his final years in Feodosia. In the 1890s, thanks to his efforts a commercial port was established in Feodosia and linked to the railway network of the Russian Empire. The railway station, opened in 1892, is now called Ayvazovskaya and is one of the two stations within the city of Feodosia. Aivazovsky also supplied Feodosia with drinking water.
Aivazovsky died on 19 April (2 May in New Style) 1900 in Feodosia. In accordance with his wishes, he was buried at the courtyard of St. Sargis Armenian Church. A white marble sarcophagus was made by Italian sculptor L. Biogiolli in 1901. A quote from Movses Khorenatsi's History of Armenia in Classical Armenian is engraved on his tombstone: Մահկանացու ծնեալ անմահ զիւրն յիշատակ եթող (Mahkanatsu tsneal anmah ziurn yishatak yetogh), which translates: "He was born a mortal, left an immortal legacy" or "Born as a mortal, left the immortal memory of himself". The Russian inscription beneath reads: Профессоръ Иванъ Константиновичъ АЙВАЗОВСКIЙ 1817—1900, "Professor Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky 1817-1900".
After his death, his wife Anna led a generally secluded life and died on 25 July 1944. She was buried next to Aivazovsky. Two of his daughters (Maria and Alexandra) left Russia following the Revolution of 1917, while the other two died shortly thereafter: Yelena in 1918 and Zhanna in 1922.
During his 60-year career, Aivazovsky produced around 6,000 paintings of, what one online art magazine describes, "very different value ... there are masterpieces and there are very timid works". However, according to one count as many as 20,000 paintings are attributed to him. The vast majority of Aivazovsky's works depict the sea. He rarely drew dry-landscapes and created only a handful of portraits. According to Rosa Newmarch Aivazovsky "never painted his pictures from nature, always from memory, and far away from the seaboard." Rogachevsky wrote that "His artistic memory was legendary. He was able to reproduce what he had seen only for a very short time, without even drawing preliminary sketches." Bolton praised "his ability to convey the effect of moving water and of reflected sun and moonlight."
He held 55 solo exhibitions (an unprecedented number) over the course of his career. Among the most notable were held in Rome, Naples and Venice (1841–42), Paris (1843, 1890), Amsterdam (1844), Moscow (1848, 1851, 1886), Sevastopol (1854), Tiflis (1868), Florence (1874), St. Petersburg (1875, 1877, 1886, 1891), Frankfurt (1879), Stuttgart (1879), London (1881), Berlin (1885, 1890), Warsaw (1885), Constantinople (1888), New York (1893), Chicago (1893), San Francisco (1893).
He also "contributed to the exhibitions of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1836–1900), Paris Salon (1843, 1879), Society of Exhibitions of Works of Art (1876–83), Moscow Society of Lovers of the Arts (1880), Pan-Russian Exhibitions in Moscow (1882) and Nizhny Novgorod (1896), World Exhibitions in Paris (1855, 1867, 1878), London (1863), Munich (1879) and Chicago (1893) and the international exhibitions in Philadelphia (1876), Munich (1879) and Berlin (1896)."
A primarily Romantic painter, Aivazovsky used some Realistic elements. Leek argued that Aivazovsky remained faithful to Romanticism] throughout his life, "even though he oriented his work toward the Realist genre." His early works are influenced by his Academy of Arts teachers Maxim Vorobiev and Sylvester Shchedrin. Classic painters like Salvator Rosa, Jacob Isaacksz van Ruisdael and Claude Lorrain contributed to Aivazovsky's individual process and style. Karl Bryullov, best known for his The Last Day of Pompeii, "played an important part in stimulating Aivazovsky's own creative development," according to Bolton. Aivazovsky's best paintings in the 1840s–1850s used a variety of colors and were both epic and romantic in theme. Newmarch suggested that by the mid-19th century the romantic features in Aivazovsky's work became "increasingly pronounced." She, like most scholars, considered his Ninth Wave his best piece of art and argued that it "seems to mark the transition between fantastic color of his earlier works, and the more truthful vision of the later years." By the 1870s, his paintings were dominated by delicate colors; and in the last two decades of his life, Aivazovsky created a series of silver-toned seascapes.
The distinct transition in Russian art from Romanticism to Realism in the mid-nineteenth century left Aivazovsky, who would always retain a Romantic style, open to criticism. Proposed reasons for his unwillingness or inability to change began with his location; Feodosia was a remote town in the huge Russian empire, far from Moscow and Saint Petersburg. His mindset and worldview were similarly considered old-fashioned and did not correspond to the developments in Russian art and culture. Vladimir Stasov only accepted his early works, while Alexandre Benois wrote in his The History of Russian Painting in the 19th Century that despite being Vorobiev's student, Aivazovsky stood apart from the general development of the Russian landscape school.
Aivazovsky's later work contained dramatic scenes and was usually done on a larger scale. He depicted "the romantic struggle between man and the elements in the form of the sea (The Rainbow, 1873), and so-called "blue marines" (The Bay of Naples in Early Morning, 1897, Disaster, 1898) and urban landscapes (Moonlit Night on the Bosphorus, 1894)."
Aivazovsky's early works incorporated Armenian themes. The artist's longstanding wish to visit his ancestral homeland was fulfilled in 1868. During his visit to Russian (Eastern) Armenia (roughly corresponding to the modern Armenia, as opposed to Western Armenia under Ottoman rule), Aivazovsky created paintings of Mount Ararat, the Ararat plain, and Lake Sevan. Although Mt. Ararat has been depicted in paintings of many non-native artists (mostly European travelers), Aivazovsky became the first Armenian artist to illustrate the two-peaked biblical mountain.
He resumed the creation of Armenian-related paintings in the 1880s: Valley of Mount Ararat (1882), Ararat (1887), Descent of Noah from Ararat (1889). The unique Valley of Mount Ararat contains Aivazovksy's signature in Armenian: "Aivazian" (Այվազեան). In a panorama of Venice expressed by Byron's Visit to the Mekhitarists on St Lazarus Island in Venice (1898); the foreground of the picture contains members of the Armenian Congregation giving an enthusiastic welcome to the poet.
His other themed works from this period include rare portraits of notable Armenians, such as his brother Archbishop Gabriel Aivazovsky (1882), Count Mikhail Loris-Melikov (1888), Catholicos Mkrtich Khrimian (1895), Nakhichevan-on-Don Mayor Аrutyun Khalabyan and others.
The Baptism of Armenians and Oath Before the Battle of Avarayr (both 1892) depict the two single most memorable events of ancient Armenia: the Christianization of Armenia via baptism of King Tiridates III (early 4th century), and the Battle of Avarayr of 451.
Aivazovsky took an interest in archaeology since the 1850s. He employed farmers to conduct archaeological excavations in the Feodosia area. In 1853 some 22 burial mounds were excavated on Mount Tepe-Oba, which mostly contained broken amphorae and bones, but also golden necklaces, earrings, a female head, a chain with a sphinx, a sphinx with woman's head, the head of an ox, slabs; silver bracelets; clay statuettes, medallions, various vessels, a sarcophagus; silver and bronze coins. The site has been dated to the 5th to 3rd centuries BC when there was an ancient Greek settlement of Theodosia. The best finds were sent by Aivazovsky to the Imperial Hermitage in Petersburg. In 1871 he founded the construction of a new Museum of Antiquities on Mount Mithridat modeled after a typical Ancient Greek temple of the Doric order. It was destroyed during World War II.
Aivazovsky was the most influential seascape painter in nineteenth-century Russian art. According to the Russian Museum, "he was the first and for a long time the only representative of seascape painting" and "all other artists who painted seascapes were either his own students or influenced by him."
Arkhip Kuindzhi (1841/2–1910) is cited by Krugosvet encyclopedia as having been influenced by Aivazovsky. In 1855, at age 13–14, Kuindzhi visited Feodosia to study with Aivazovsky, however, he was engaged merely to mix paints and instead studied with Adolf Fessler, Aivazovsky's student. A 1903 encyclopedic article stated: "Although Kuindzhi cannot be called a student of Aivazovsky, the latter had without doubt some influence on him in the first period of his activity; from whom he borrowed much in the manner of painting." English art historian John E. Bowlt wrote that "the elemental sense of light and form associated with Aivazovsky's sunsets, storms, and surging oceans permanently influenced the young Kuindzhi."
Ivan Aivazovsky is one of the few Russian artists to achieve wide recognition during his lifetime. Today, he is considered as one of the most prominent marine artists of the 19th century, and, overall, one of the greatest marine artists in Russia and the world. Aivazovsky was also one of the few Russian artists to become famous outside Russia. In 1898, Munsey's Magazine wrote that Aivazovsky is "better known to the world at large than any other artist of his nationality, with the exception of the sensational Verestchagin". Although according to art historian Janet Whitmore he is relatively unknown in the west. Art historian Rosalind Polly Blakesley noted in a 2003 book review that Aivazovsky has not been incorporated into the mainstream Western history of art.
In a July 2017 poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) Aivazovsky ranked first as the most favorite artist with 27% of respondents naming him as their favorite, ahead of Ivan Shishkin (26%) and Ilya Repin (16%). Overall, 93% of respondents said they were familiar with his name (26% knew him well, 67% have heard his name) and 63% of those who know him said they liked his works, including 80% of those 60 or older and 35% of 18 to 24 year olds.
In 1890, the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary described him as the "best Russian marine painter". Ivan Kramskoi, one of the most prominent Russian artists of the nineteenth century, praised him thus: "Aivazovsky is—no matter who says what—a star of first magnitude, and not only in our [country], but also in history of art in general." Another Russian painter, Alexandre Benois, suggested that "Aivazovsky stands apart from the general history of the Russian school of landscape painting." The State Russian Museum website continues, "It is hard to find another figure in the history of Russian art enjoying the same popularity among amateur viewers and erudite professionals alike." Writing in 1861 in the magazine Vremya, Fyodor Dostoyevsky compared Aivazovsky's work with that of Alexandre Dumas as both artists "produce a remarkably striking effect: remarkable indeed, as neither man ever produces anything ordinary at all. Ordinary things, they despise. Their compositions are certainly quite fascinating. The books of Dumas were devoured with impatience; the paintings of Aivazovsky have been selling like hot cakes. Both produce works that are not dissimilar to fairy tales: fireworks, clatter, screams, howling winds, lightning."
In nineteenth-century Russia, his name became a synonym for art and beauty. The phrase "worthy of Aivazovsky's brush" was the standard way of describing something ineffably lovely. It was first used by Anton Chekhov in his 1897 play Uncle Vanya. In response to Marina Timofeevna's (the old nurse) query about the fight between Ivan Voynitsky ("Uncle Vanya") and Aleksandr Serebryakov, Ilya Telegin says that it was "A sight[a] worthy of Aivazovsky's brush" (Сюжет, достойный кисти Айвазовского Syuzhet, dostoyniy kisti Ayvazovskovo).
A street in Moscow (ru) was named after Aivazovsky in 1978. His first and only statue in Russia was erected in 2007 in Kronstadt, near Saint Petersburg. The Simferopol International Airport in Crimea, under Russian administration, was voted to be named after Aivazovsky in 2018.
Aivazovsky has always been considered an Armenian painter in his ancestral homeland and virtually always referred to there by his Armenian name, Hovhannes. Virtually all Armenian, some Russian and English sources, refer to him as Hovhannes Ayvazovski (Armenian: Հովհաննես Այվազովսկի; Russian: Ован(н)ес Айвазовский, Ovan(n)es Aivazovsky). The artist signed some of his paintings and letters in Armenian. For instance, his signatures in both Armenian (Այվազեան, Ayvazean) and Russian (Айвазовскій, Ayvazovskiy) appear on Valley of Mount Ararat (1882).
Aivazovsky has been described as the "most remarkable" Armenian painter of the 19th century and the first-ever Armenian marine painter. He was born outside Armenia proper, and like his contemporaries, including Gevorg Bashinjaghian, Panos Terlemezian, and Vardges Sureniants, Aivazovsky lived outside his homeland, drawing primary influences from European and Russian schools of art. His creativity and viewpoint have been attributed to his uniquely Armenian roots. According to Sureniants, he sought to create a union which would have brought together all Armenian artists around the world. The prominent Armenian poet Hovhannes Tumanyan wrote a short poem titled "In Front of an Aiazovsky painting" («Այվազովսկու նկարի առջև») in 1893. It is inspired by painting of the sea by Aivazovsky, mostly likely from the 1870s–1890s. It was translated into English in 1917 by Alice Stone Blackwell.
In Ukraine, he is sometimes considered a Ukrainian painter. He was included in a 2001 book titled 100 Greatest Ukrainians. An alley in Kiev (Провулок Айвазовського) was named after him in 1939. A three-star hotel in Odessa, where dozens of his works are displayed, is named for him as well. A statue of Aivazovsky and his brother Gabriel is located in Simferopol, Crimea's administrative center. In June 2017 Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko claimed that Aivazovsky is "part of Ukrainian heritage." Russian media accused him of appropriation of Aivazovsky.
Aivazovsky's painting were popular in the Ottoman imperial court during the 19th century. According to Hürriyet Daily News, as of 2014, 30 paintings of Aivazovsky are on display in museums in Turkey. According to Bülent Özükan, there are 41 paintings of Aivazovsky on display in Turkey, 21 in former palaces of Ottoman sultans, 10 in various marine and military museums, and 10 at the presidential residence. In 2007, when Abdullah Gül became president of Turkey, he brought paintings by Aivazovsky up from the basement to hang in his office during redecoration of the presidential palace, the Çankaya Mansion in Ankara. Pictures of official meetings of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the new Presidential Complex in Ankara show that the walls of the rooms at the presidential residence are decorated with Aivazovsky's artwork.
Aivazovsky's house in Feodosia, where he had founded an art museum in 1880, is open to this day as the Aivazovsky National Art Gallery. It remains a central attraction in the city and holds the world's largest collections (417) of Aivazovsky paintings. A statue of the artist is erected in front of the it.
The Soviet Union (1950), Romania (1971), Madagascar (1988), Armenia (first in 1992), Russia (1995), Ukraine (1999), Abkhazia (1999), Moldova (2010), Kyrgyzstan (2010), Burundi (2012), and Mozambique (2013) have issued postage stamps depicting Aivazovsky or his works. The minor planet 3787 Aivazovskij, named after Aivazovsky, was discovered by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Chernykh in 1977.
In 2016 and 2017 the 200th anniversary of Aivazovsky was celebrated with major exhibitions in several countries. An exhibition featuring 120 paintings and 55 etchings of Aivazovsky was held at the Tretyakov Gallery on Krymsky Val in Moscow from 29 July to 20 November 2016 dedicated to his 200th anniversary of birth. In the first 2 weeks, the exhibition had around 55,000 visitors, a record number. 38 of the works were moved from the Aivazovsky Art Gallery in Feodosia, which prompted Ukraine to call for an international boycott of the Tretyakov Gallery as it considers Crimea an occupied territory. Exhibitions were also held at the National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kiev, and the National Gallery of Armenia in Yerevan.
Aivazovsky's paintings began appearing in auctions (mostly in London) in the early 2000s. Many of his works are being bought by Russian oligarchs. His works have risen steadily in auction value. In November 2004, his Saint Isaac's Cathedral On A Frosty Day, a rare cityscape, sold for around £1 million ($2.1 million). In 2007, his painting American Shipping off the Rock of Gibraltar auctioned at £2.71 million, "more than four times its top estimate". It was, "the highest price paid at auction for Aivazovsky" at the time. In April 2012, his 1856 work View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus was sold at Sotheby's for a record $5.2 million (£3.2 million), a tenfold increase since it was last at an auction in 1995.
In January 2011 a number of paintings, including those of Aivazovsky, were stolen from the country house of Aleksandr Tarantsev, an owner of a chain of jewelry stores in Russia. In 2017 it was reported that a fake of one of the paintings stolen from Tarantsev's house was presented to Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan by the Pyunik foundation.
In June 2015 Sotheby's withdrew from auction an 1870 Aivazovsky painting Evening in Cairo, which was estimated at £1.5–2 million ($2–$3 million), after the Russian Interior Ministry claimed that it was stolen in 1997 from a private collection in Moscow. In 2017 View on Revel (1845), stolen from the Dmitrov Kremlin Museum in 1976, was found at Koller Auktionen in Zürich, Switzerland.
|French Empire||Legion of Honor (Chevalier)||1857|
|Ottoman Empire||Order of the Medjidie||1858|
|Kingdom of Greece||Order of the Redeemer||1859|
|Russian Empire||Order of St. Vladimir||1865|
|Ottoman Empire||Order of Osmanieh||1874|
|Kingdom of Poland||Order of the White Eagle||1893|
|Russian Empire||Order of St. Alexander Nevsky||1897|
Aivazovsky was a major landowner who owned numerous estates in the eastern part of Crimea, mostly located not far from Feodosia. These estates delivered him significant income; more than the sale of his paintings. His earliest major estate, bestowed by the Emperor in 1848 along with a personal noble title, was the one at Shakh-Mamai (now called Ayvazovskoye. Located some 25 kilometres (16 mi) from Feodosia, it initially covered an area of 2,500 diasiatins (around 2,725 hectares (6,730 acres)). The estate had an Eastern-style house, and one of its most prominent visitors, Anton Chekhov, wrote that "It is an extravagant, fairy-tale estate of the kind you must probably find in Persia." By the end of his life, the state had grown to include some 6,000 diasiatins of land, a dairy farm, and a steam-powered mill.
The second major estate, located in Subash (now Zolotoy Klyuch), contained some 2,500 diasiatins of land. The site contained several natural springs, which Aivazovsky acquired in 1852 from the Lansky family. The latter also sold Aivazovsky 2,362 diasiatins of land. Later, Aivazovsky supplied Feodosia with water from Subash. In both estates, vegetables were grown. He had small estates in Romash-Eli (now Romanovka), with 338 diasiatins of land covered with orchards, and the Sudak Valley, with 12 diasiatins of vineyard, along with a dacha (summer house).
In Feodosia, Aivazovsky possessed a house and a vineyard. He also owned houses elsewhere in Crimea, such as Stary Krym and Yalta. The estates inherited by his heirs were lost in the early Soviet period when they were nationalized.
Это художник, который считается поздним романтиком.
О нем писал армянский епископ Гавриил (Айвазовский), брат выдающегося художника- мариниста...
The great seascape painter Ivan Aivazovsky (Hovhannes Aivazian)–while visiting his brother Archbishop Gabriel Aivazovsky–immortalized the Island and the Venetian lagoon in numerous magnificent paintings.
Aivazovsky, in fact, was the first painter to paint the Suez Canal.
Ivan Aivazovsky was the best known Russian painter of seascapes.
Благодаря ему в Феодосии был создан водопровод, построены морской торговый порт, железная дорога, возведено здание археологического музея и многое другое.
One of the greatest seascape painters of his time, Aivazovsky conveyed the movement of the waves, the transparent water, the dialogue between sea and sky with virtuoso skill and tangible verisimilitude.
Aivazovsky, Ivan Konstantionvich (real name: Hovannes Gevorgovich Aivazyan) (1817–1900) – grand Russian artist-painter of seascapes, ethnic Armenian. Aside from his artwork, I.A. was also known for his valuable contributions to the developments of the Russian and Armenian cultures of the 19th century. He lived and worked in Feodosia, Crimea. He was buried there according to his will. A sign on his tombstone, written in ancient Armenian, has a quote from the 5th century "History of Armenia" by Moses Khorenatsi says: "Born as a mortal, left the immortal memory of himself."
Detail from "The Ninth Wave" "The Ninth Wave," painted in 1850, is Aivazovsky's most famous work and is an archetypal image for the artist.
Бесспорно, популярнейшей картиной мариниста является «Девятый вал» (1850 г.), сейчас это полотно хранится в Русском музее. Пожалуй, в нем сильнее всего передана романтическая натура художника.
Считается, что кисти Айвазовского принадлежит более 6000 полотен. А приписывают ему и того больше – около 20 000 картин.
Испытал особое влияние И.К.Айвазовского.
в Феодосию к знаменитому Айвазовскому. Куинджи прибыл в тихую Феодосию, по-видимому, летом 1855 года. ... Устройством Куинджи занялся Адольф Фесслер, ученик и копиист Айвазовского. Жил Архип во дворе под навесом в ...
Хотя Куинджи и нельзя назвать учеником Айвазовского, но последний имел на него, несомненно, некоторое влияние в первый период его деятельности; от него он заимствовал многое в манере писать, в выборе тем, в любви к широким пространствам.online view
Он был знаменит еще при жизни, он был любимым художником Николая II.
He [Aivazovsky] was famous during his lifetime, he was the favorite artist of Nicholas II.
Lauded by many as the greatest maritime artist of his time, Aivazovsky's genius lay above all in his capacity for capturing light.
The traditions of the genre were brilliantly developed by Ivan Aivazovsky (1817–1900), the most popular artist of the 19th century.
Aivazovsky (1817–1900) is widely regarded as one of the greatest seascape artists in history...
Aivazovsky is one of the world's most thrilling masters of the marine picture...
Aivazovsky was the best known and most celebrated Russian artist of marine paintings.
I. Aivazovsky (1817–1900), the greatest Russian land- and waterscapist — best known for his renderings of the Black Sea.
В XIX веке Айвазовский, создавший за свою долгую творческую жизнь около 6 тысяч работ, пользовался огромной популярностью не только в России. Его имя было прекрасно известно любителям живописи в Европе и за океаном.
In the nineteenth century, Aivazovsky, who created about 6 thousand works for his long creative life, was very popular not only in Russia. His name was well known to art lovers in Europe and across the ocean.
One of the famous living veterans of the brush is Aivazovsky, the Russian marine painter, whose eightieth birthday was recently celebrated at his native town, Feodosia, the ancient seaport in the Crimea. Aivazovsky, who visited America some years ago, is better known to the world at large than any other artist of his nationality, with the exception of the sensational Verestchagin.
Galleries of Aivazovsky's paintings
Events from the year 1846 in art.3787 Aivazovskij
3787 Aivazovskij, provisional designation 1977 RG7, is a stony Itha asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt, approximately 13 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered by Soviet–Russian astronomer Nikolai Chernykh at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Nauchnyj, on the Crimean peninsula, on 11 September 1977. The asteroid was named after painter Ivan Aivazovsky.Aivazovsky National Art Gallery
The Aivazovsky National Art Gallery is a national art museum in Feodosia, Crimea. The first exhibition was privately organised by Ivan Aivazovsky's in his house in 1845. The basis collection included his 49 paintings. In 1880 an additional exhibition hall was attached to the house. The gallery became the third museum in the Russian Empire, after the Hermitage Museum and the Tretyakov Gallery. After Aivazovsky's death in 1900, the ownership of the gallery was transferred to the city according to his testament.
Towards the end of 1920, the house was occupied by the Feodosia department of Cheka. Several paintings were damaged at that time.
Since 1922, the gallery became a state museum in the USSR. The collection consists of about 12 thousand nautical theme works, including the world's largest collection of works by Ivan Aivazovsky himself (417 paintings). The gallery exposition introduces the works of Aivazovsky, his family history, and the history of the gallery. A separate building (artist's sister house) presents mythological and biblical paintings, foreign marine paintings of the 18th-19th centuries, and the Cimmerian school of painting including Maximilian Voloshin, Lev Lagorio, Konstantin Bogaevsky, Mikhail Lattry, Adolf Faessler, and Arkhip Kuindzhi.
In 1930 a monument to Aivazovsky, by Ilya Ginzburg, with the inscription "Feodosia to Aivazovsky" was erected in front of the main building.Alexander I Palace
Alexander I Palace in Taganrog is a one-story stone building in Russian classicism style on Grecheskaya Street, 40 where Russian emperor Alexander I of Russia died in 1825.
The mansion was built in 1806 and belonged to different owners. The most significant of them was the Governor of Taganrog Pyotr Papkov. Emperor Alexander I of Russia stayed there twice – in 1818 and 1825. After his death the building was bought by his widow empress consort Elizabeth Alexeievna (Louise of Baden) and the first memorial museum in Russia dedicated to the Emperor was established there. Among the visitors to the palace of Alexander I were the Russian emperors Alexander II of Russia and Alexander III, poets Alexander Pushkin and Vasily Zhukovsky, artist Ivan Aivazovsky, People’s commissar of enlightenment Anatoly Lunacharsky, and many others.
For 12 years beginning in 1864 an amateur choir conducted by Pavel Chekhov (Anton Chekhov's father) sang in the Church of Exaltation of the Cross, which was established within the mansion to honor the emperor. At the end of 1860s – beginning of 1870s Alexander, Nicolas and Anton Chekhov sang there in choral parts of descant and alto. In 1928 the memorial museum was closed and some of the exhibits were moved into the Alferaki Palace.
The building of the Palace of Alexander I houses a children’s sanatorium called “Beryozka”.Brig "Mercury" Attacked by Two Turkish Ships
Brig "Mercury" Attacked by Two Turkish Ships (Russian: Бриг "Меркурий", атакованный двумя турецкими кораблями) is an 1892 oil on canvas painting by Russian painter Ivan Aivazovsky (1817–1900). Aivazovsky painted over 6,000 works, more than half of which are seascapes.It depicts three ships in close combat on a rough sea; as the name suggests, the battle occurs between two Turkish warships, and another ship referred to in the painting's title as the Russian brig Mercury. While Aivazovsky painted many seascapes, often involving ships and boats of various descriptions, and many showing ships that were damaged or shipwrecked, few of his works featured ships in close naval combat.Central Naval Museum
Central Naval Museum (Russian: Центральный военно-морской музей) is a naval museum in St Petersburg, Russia. It is one of the first museums in Russia and one of the world’s largest naval museums, with a large collection of artefacts, models and paintings reflecting the development of Russian naval traditions and the history of the Russian Navy. The museum’s permanent display includes such relics as the Botik of Peter the Great, Catherine II’s marine throne, trophies captured in sea battles, and the personal belongings of prominent Russian and Soviet naval commanders. The collection includes paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky, Alexey Bogolyubov, Lev Lagorio and other marine artists, ship sculpture, navigational instruments, naval equipment and machinery from the 17th to 20th centuries and numerous models of ships. The main exposition consists of nineteen halls. There is a complex of six museum halls for exhibitions.Chumak
Chumak (Ukrainian: чумак) is a historic occupation on the territory of modern Ukraine as merchants or traders, primarily known for the trade in salt.
Chumaks grew as a merchant class facilitating trade of salt from the areas of Halychyna as well as the coastal areas of Black and Azov Seas, in addition to other items.
They prospered until the end of the 19th century, when competition from railroads made longer trade routes unprofitable. The process of transportation was conducted by wagons that were pulled by two oxen paired with yoke. Oxen were often of Bessarabian breed.
Chumaks were the most popular during the times of the Cossack Hetmanate (17th century) trading between the Moscow state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Crimean Khanate, and Moldavia. Further modernization marginalized traditional economic activity, and relegated Chumak traders to areas in western Ukraine with the lowest levels of service.Gabriel Aivazovsky
Gabriel Aivazovsky (Gabriel Ayvazyan, Armenian: Գաբրիել Հայվազյան, Russian: Гаврии́л Константи́нович Айвазо́вский), (22 May 1812 – 20 April 1879), was an Armenian Archbishop, scientist, historian, and the brother of the artist Ivan Aivazovsky.Hôtel d'Estrées
The Hôtel d'Estrées is a hôtel particulier, a type of large townhouse of France, at 79 rue de Grenelle in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. It is the residence of the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to France. It was designed by Robert de Cotte, architect of King Louis XIV, and built between 1711 and 1713 for Madeleine-Diane de Bautru de Vaubrun, the Duchesse d'Estrées (1668-1753). After belonging to several owners, it was purchased by the Russian government in 1863 and became the Russian Embassy. Both Czar Alexander II of Russia and his grandson, Nicholas II, stayed in the residence when they visited Paris. In 1977 the Russian Embassy was moved to another building, and the Hotel became the residence of the Ambassador. It is now classified as a historic monument of France.List of 19th-century Russian painters
This is a list of 19th-century Russian painters.
Abram Arkhipov, 1862–1930
Ivan Aivazovsky, 1817–1900
Nikolai Bogdanov-Belsky, 1868–1945
Alexander Golovin 1863–1930
Pavel Fedotov, 1815–1852
Nikolai Ge, 1831–1894
Alexander Ivanov 1806–1858
Vasily Kamensky 1866–1944
Nikolai Kasatkin 1859–1930
Orest Kiprensky 1782–1836
Konstantin Korovin 1861–1939
Alexei Korzukhin 1835–1894
Nikolay Koshelev 1840–1918
Evgraf Fedorovich Krendovsky, 1810–1870
Eugene Lanceray 1875–1946
Klavdiy Lebedev 1852–1916
Mikhail Lebedev 1811–1837
Anton Legashov 1798–1865
Dmitry Levitsky 1735–1822
Konstantin Makovsky 1839–1915
Nikolay Makovsky 1841–1886
Vladimir Makovsky 1846–1920
Vassily Maximov 1844–1911
Grigoriy Myasoyedov 1834–1911
Mikhail Nesterov 1862–1942
Nikolai Nevrev 1830–1904
Ilya Ostroukhov 1858–1929
Vasily Perov 1834–1882
Vasily Polenov 1844–1927
Yelena Polenova 1850–1898
Illarion Pryanishnikov 1840–1894
Vasili Pukirev 1832–1890
Ilya Repin 1844–1930
Fyodor Rokotov 1736–1808
Andrei Ryabushkin 1861–1904
Konstantin Savitsky 1844–1905
Alexei Savrasov 1830–1897
Valentin Serov 1865–1911
Silvestr Schchedrin 1791–1830
Semion Shchedrin 1745–1804
Ivan Tarkhanov 1780–1848
Fyodor Tolstoy 1783–1873
Vasily Tropinin 1776–1856
Fyodor Vasilyev 1850–1873
Apollinary Vasnetsov 1856–1933
Viktor Vasnetsov 1848–1926
Vasily Vereshchagin 1842–1904
Konstantin Yuon 1875–1958List of Russian artworks in the National Museum of Serbia
The Russian art collection in National Museum of Serbia has 90 paintings,and numerous prints,etchings and was mostly donated by Prince Paul of Yugoslavia. The Collection also has over 100 icons from the 15th to 19th century. The collection includes work by painters and sculptors such as Ivan Aivazovsky, Marc Chagall, Wassily Kandinsky, Nicholas Roerich, Ilya Repin, Filipp Malyavin, Alexei Harlamov, Mikhail Larionov, Boris Grigoriev, Vladimir Borovikovsky, Pavel Kuznetsov, Konstantin Korovin, Kazimir Malevich, Alexandre Benois, El Lissitzky, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Alexander Nikolayevich Samokhvalov, Pyotr Nilus etc.
Orest Kiprensky, Portrait of Emperor's Son (canvas)
Ivan Aivazovsky, On the Black Sea Coast (canvas 90x130cm) and Sunset
Nicholas Roerich (5 canvases and 2 temperas), Berendej Village (canvas 1919), Holy Guests (canvas 82×153), Church Bells Tolling, Burgustan on Caucassus, St. Sergey Monastery, Costume Snjegurochka Draft I , Costume Snjegurochka Draft II
Wassily Kandinsky, Binc on Rugen, Violet (lithograph) and Orange (lithograph)
Ilya Repin, (4 canvases and 1 aquarel) Nikolai Kuznetcov Portrait, Mikhail Glinka Portrait, Peasant Woman, Woman dressed traditionally, Hotkovo (aquarel), Self Portrait (pen)..
Konstantin Makovsky, Portrait of Prince Nikolai Michailovich (canvas 107×73 cm), Portrait of Man, In Front of Painting, Portrait of Lady
Vladimir Borovikovsky, Portrait of Karageorge (1816)
Marie Bashkirtseff, Prince Bozidar Karadjordjevic Portrait
Vladimir Lebedev (painter), Emperor Pray (watercolor)
Unknown Russian 18th century, Portrait of Peter the Great
Ivan Pohitonov, Small Swamp, Landscape with Bathers
Marc Chagall ,(1 canvas,9 graphics) Old man and cow (guache), Moses Throwing the Tablets (etching), Fantastic Composition (pencil), Jew with Trunk (ink), Yakov and Isac (etching), Moses in the Desert (etching), Mann with Book (etching), Girl with Flowers (lithography) and Self Portrait (etching)
Alexei Harlamov, Portrait of Girl , Girl with the Blue Vail , Portrit of Redhead Girl ,
Filipp Malyavin, Portrait of Father , Portrait of Maria Karadjordjevic
Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Sketch for Evgenie Onegin (aquarel),English Bay in St.Petersburg (canvas)
Boris Grigoriev, Landscape in Bretagna
Konstantin Korovin, Parisisan Boulevard Cafe, Parisisan Boulevard by Night, Monte Carlo
Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky, Visiting teacher
Zinaida Serebriakova, Street in Versay (canvas 1926)
Vladimir Sosnovsky , Waves , Sailship in the Sea
Mikhail Larionov, Still Life
Alexander Beggrov, Treport in Normandy
Nikolay Kuznetzov, Ludmila Tolstoy Portrait, Portrait of Young Man in black coat,Landscape
Alexandre Benois ,Nastasia Filipovna Boudoir (aquarel),Empress Maria Alexandrovna Salon in Gachina (aquarel),
Pyotr Nilus, Wet Street, Parisian Street,
Feodor Tchoumakoff Petrovitch, 8 portraits of Young Woman
Konstantin Terechkovitch, Portrait of Woman in Hat
Alexei Korovin, Still Life with Fish and Bottle
Alexander Ivanovitsch Jakovlev, 'Italian Landscape
Nikolay Millioti, Self Portrait
Vasiliy Suhaev, Landscape
Alexander Archipenko, Two women (canvas), Nude (chalk), Female Act (color lithography)
El Lissitzky, The proun 2B, The Proun 5B, No Name Construction (aquarel), Winning over Sun (aquarel)
André Lanskoy, No Name, No Name,Composition in RedList of paintings on Soviet postage stamps
List of paintings on postage stamps of former Soviet Union by title (incomplete as unattributed paintings are not included).Mansoor Ghandriz
Mansoor Ghandriz (Persian: منصور قندریز; 2 March 1936 – 26 February 1966) was an Iranian painter, born in Tabriz. He used Iranian forms in modern art and was one of the creators of the Sghakhane movement in Iranian painting.
While still in high school, Ghandriz was drawn to the progressive realist paintings of Ilya Repin (1844–1930) and Russian-Armenian seascape artist Ivan Aivazovsky (1817–1900). Later in college, and before turning to a paradigmatic exhortation of modernist language within local Iranian narrative, and developing his own semi-abstract style, he was introduced to European modernism, and he delved into the tradition of Russian realists and European classical and figurative art, Incorporating the figurative techniques of old masters, he created his own corporeal abstraction, which also indicates a process of gradual formalization, progressing from free forms to order. Matisse, Picasso, and Persian miniature paintings inspired Ghandriz's early figurative work. He chose, as a critic commented, "mystical symbols to combine traditional and modern elements into his abstract designs."National Palaces Painting Museum
National Palaces Painting Museum (Turkish: Milli Saraylar Resim Müzesi) is an art museum in Istanbul, Turkey, opened at the Crown Prince Residence of Dolmabahçe Palace in 2014. The museum exhibits approximately 200 pieces from the palace's collection of paintings by both Turkish and international artists of the 19th century. The museum is funded by the TBMM.Russian brig Mercury
Mercury (Russian: Меркурий) was a Imperial Russian Navy 18-gun, two-masted warship. It is famous for its lopsided battle with two Turkish ships, which took place on May 14, 1829.The name Pamiyat Mercuriya (literally In Memory of Mercury) was given to a number of ships of the Russian Baltic Fleet.Simferopol International Airport
Simferopol International Airport (Russian: Международный аэропорт "Симферополь", Mezhdunarodnyy aeroport "Simferopol’"; Ukrainian: Міжнародний аеропорт "Сімферополь", Mizhnarodnyy aeroport "Simferopol’"; Crimean Tatar: Aqmescit Halqara Ava Limanı, Акъмесджит Халкъара Ава Лиманы; (IATA: SIP) (Russian AIP: URFF, УРФФ ) is an airport in Simferopol, de facto the capital of the Republic of Crimea. Built in 1936, the airport today has one international terminal and one domestic terminal.
On 14 May 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine which, de facto, has no control over the airport, voted to rename it Amet-khan Sultan International Airport in memory of Amet-khan Sultan. (Another airport named after Amet-khan Sultan is Uytash Airport located in Makhachkala, Russia.) However, in 2018, Russian citizens voted that the airport be named after the Armenian painter Ivan Aivazovsky.Since the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014, the airport is only used for flights to and from Russian airports.State Historical Museum
The State Historical Museum (Russian: Государственный исторический музей, Gosudarstvenny istoricheskiy muzyey) of Russia is a museum of Russian history wedged between Red Square and Manege Square in Moscow. Its exhibitions range from relics of prehistoric tribes that lived on the territory of present-day Russia, through priceless artworks acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty. The total number of objects in the museum's collection comes to millions.
The place where the museum now stands was formerly occupied by the Principal Medicine Store, built by order of Peter the Great in the Moscow baroque style. Several rooms in that building housed royal collections of antiquities. Other rooms were occupied by the Moscow University, founded by Mikhail Lomonosov in 1755.
The museum was founded in 1872 by Ivan Zabelin, Aleksey Uvarov and several other Slavophiles interested in promoting Russian history and national self-awareness. The board of trustees, composed of Sergey Solovyov, Vasily Klyuchevsky, Uvarov and other leading historians, presided over the construction of the museum building. After a prolonged competition the project was handed over to Vladimir Osipovich Shervud (or Sherwood, 1833–97).
The present structure was built based on Sherwood's neo-Russian design between 1875 and 1881. The first 11 exhibit halls officially opened in 1883 during a visit from the Tsar and his wife. Then in 1894 Tsar Alexander III became the honorary president of the museum and the following year, 1895, the museum was renamed the Tsar Alexander III Imperial Russian History Museum. Its interiors were intricately decorated in the Russian Revival style by such artists as Viktor Vasnetsov, Henrik Semiradsky, and Ivan Aivazovsky. During the Soviet period the murals were proclaimed gaudy and were plastered over. The museum went through a painstaking restoration of its original appearance between 1986 and 1997.
Notable items include a longboat excavated from the banks of the Volga River, gold artifacts of the Scythians, birch-bark scrolls of Novgorod, manuscripts going back to the sixth century, Russian folk ceramics, and wooden objects. The library boasts the manuscripts of the Chludov Psalter (860s), Svyatoslav's Miscellanies (1073), Mstislav Gospel (1117), Yuriev Gospel (1119), and Halych Gospel (1144). The museum's coin collection alone includes 1.7 million coins, making it the largest in Russia. In 1996, the number of all articles in the museum's collection reached 4,373,757.
A branch of the museum is housed in the Romanov Chambers Zaryadye and Moscow Kremlin. In 1934 The Museum of Women's Emancipation at the Novodevichy Convent became part of the State Historical Museum. Some of the churches and other monastic buildings are still affiliated with the State Historical Museum.The Ninth Wave
The Ninth Wave (Russian: Девятый вал, Dyevyatiy val) is an 1850 painting by the Russian Armenian marine painter Ivan Aivazovsky. It is his best-known work.The title refers to an old sailing expression referring to a wave of incredible size that comes after a succession of incrementally larger waves.It depicts a sea after a night storm and people facing death attempting to save themselves by clinging to debris from a wrecked ship. The debris, in the shape of the cross, appears to be a Christian metaphor for salvation from the earthly sin. The painting has warm tones, which reduce the sea's apparent menacing overtones and a chance for the people to survive seems plausible. This painting shows both the destructiveness and beauty of nature.