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Wave. 1889

Aivazovsky Ivan,
Oil on canvas
304 x 505

State Russian Museum


An epic painting entitled Wave is a bright example of the late period of Aivazovsky’s creative work. The artist painted it when he was 72 years old. When depicting the chaotic movements of waves, the author admires the enormous might of Nature and compares it to the feebleness of human effort. Heavy clouds hang low over the water, the depth of the ocean is ready to devour the wrecked ship, and the sailors have no hope for escape. The painting has a cold and dark atmosphere. The painting draws away from his earlier Romantic colour selection and gets closer to realism.

Author's Biography

Aivazovskiy Ivan

Aivazovsky (Haivazovsky), Hovhannes (Ivan Konstantinovich)

1817, Theodosia - 1900, Theodosia
Painter, graphic artist. Studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1833-1838). Fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts in the Crimea and Italy (1838-1844). Academician (1844), professor (1847), honorary member of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1887). Member of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome (1840) and the academies of Paris (1843), Amsterdam (1845), Florence (1875) and Stuttgart (1879). Contributed to around 120 exhibitions (from 1835). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1835-1900), Paris Salon (1843, 1879), Society of Exhibitions of Works of An (1876-1883), Moscow Society of Lovers of the Arts (1881), Pan-Russian Exhibitions in Moscow (1882) and Nizhny Novgorod (1896), International Exhibitions in Philadelphia (1876), Munich (1879) and Berlin (1886) and the World Exhibitions in Paris (1858, 1878), London (1863) and Chicago (1893). Awarded the Legion d'honneur (1857). Lived and worked in Theodosia, where he founded the General Art Studios (1865) and the Theodosia Picture Gallery (1880).

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