Secrets of 5 Mystical Paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky

Secrets of 5 Mystical Paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky

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Ivan Aivazovsky
Ivan Aivazovsky
Canvas by Ivan Aivazovsky at all times literally attracted spectators, seascapes masters even in the age of computer graphics and high-resolution in this fascinating. At the exhibition of the famous seascape at the Tretyakov Gallery, which opened in late July, queues, it has visited about 250 thousand people. But few know that many famous paintings of the artist associated mystical stories.

Secrets of the five most enigmatic paintings by Aivazovsky discloses a graduate art historian and lecturer Education Project Level One Natalia Ignatova.


Canvas with demons or «Chaos: Creation of the World», (1841)

«Chaos: Creation of the World», (1841)
«Chaos: Creation of the World», (1841)

The foundation of this monumental canvas laid the biblical story of creation: the artist painted on it the Spirit of God in the form of light filtering through the dark clouds. When Aivazovsky presented his work in Italy, this image is so impressed Pope Gregory XVI, that he wanted to buy it for his collection. But clerics spotted the painting and evil spirits, in their view, deliberately hidden by the artist in the dark clouds. To find out it was true or not, the Cardinals called a council, and subjected her to a thorough visual inspection for the presence of demons, but they never found. So «Chaos» was in the Vatican.


Between life and death or «The Ninth Wave», (1850)

«The Ninth Wave», (1850)
«The Ninth Wave», (1850)

Aivazovsky painted this picture after he miraculously survived a terrible storm. Once the sailors told the artist that during a storm the waves are on the increase and the strongest and always highest the ninth wave, it was he who destroys ships. But if the vessel success to overcome it, there is hope to survive, because then the waves will decline. After graduating from the Academy of Arts Aivazovsky he traveled through Europe and ended up off the Spanish coast in a heavy storm, where he saw firsthand what a ninth wave. On the shore is no longer believed that the ship will return, and began to prepare for the funeral, but it all ended well. As later recalled the artist, risking his life, he went on deck to the smallest detail to remember that fateful moment and feel the power of the raging elements. These experiences he embodied in his most famous painting «The Ninth Wave». People cling to the severed mast, and on them is approaching the ninth wave, but the bright sun breaks through the clouds gives us hope that they will be able to weather the storm, as once the author was able to canvas.


The disturbing element or «The Black Sea», (1881)

«The Black Sea», (1881)
«The Black Sea», (1881)

If the romantic «The Ninth Wave» is filled with light of hope in the painting «The Black Sea», we see a disturbing element. The sky is covered with clouds, the storm is approaching, a lone sailboat on the horizon in a hurry to return to port. This is one of the most dramatic paintings by Aivazovsky, which marked a new stage in the realistic artist. Looking at the picture, you can feel how powerful the dark waves looming directly at the viewer. Another great painter of the XIX century Ivan Kramskoy considered this work the most powerful creature Aivazovsky. It is no coincidence he depicted a fragment of the canvas on his painting «Inconsolable Grief» by placing a gloomy seascape of children’s coffins. The picture coming storm has become a reflection of the inner grief a mother who lost a child.


Find the killer or «On the death of Alexander III», (1894)

«On the death of Alexander III», (1894)
«On the death of Alexander III», (1894)

His most mystical painting Ivan Aivazovsky wrote after he had received the news of the death of Emperor Alexander III, who knew personally. This painting is filled with grief and sorrow experienced by the artist. It produces so depressing that now the picture is in a separate room Feodosia gallery. It is believed that it brings bad luck to anyone who looks at her. If you long to look into the canvas, in the fog, you can see the ghost images. Through the murky outlines of the Peter and Paul Fortress and Neva River appear the dead water of the River Styx. The image of the woman in black, grieving widow allegory, with a certain perspective, it might seem a man with a mustache. One he resembles a terrorist who attempted to Alexander III, others – the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II. The picture was accidentally discovered and presented to the public in the early 2000s, although it was exposed for long.


«Clouds above a Calm Sea», (1899)

«Clouds above a Calm Sea», (1899)
«Clouds above a Calm Sea», (1899)

This pattern is different from other paintings by Aivazovsky, it is imbued with calm and serenity. The artist wrote the landscape in 82 years when he finally found marital happiness. However, he met his last love under very tragic circumstances: Aivazovsky saw his future wife Anna-Sarkisov Burnazyan at the funeral of her husband. It was in 1882, Anna at the time was only 25 years old, and the artist – 65, but they fell in love at first sight. A year later, when the young widow stood put mourning, they were married. Despite the huge difference in the age their marriage was very happy, and the picture «Calm at the Crimean coast», has become a reflection of harmony, love and peace that reigned in the soul of the artist in the last years of his life. He died at the age of 83 years at work.

During his life, Aivazovsky wrote about 6000 paintings on the marine theme, but the most famous among them is perhaps «The Ninth Wave». The full story of how there was «The Ninth Wave» allows you to get closer to an understanding of the basic principles of the artist over the sea views and open up the secrets of his art studio.


More articles about Ivan Aivazovsky:

Marine Mood: 15 Majestic and Emotional Masterpieces by Ivan Aivazovsky (New tab)

Making of «The Ninth Wave» by Ivan Aivazovsky: The Story of a Masterpiece (New tab)