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On the Rocky Shore by Ivan Aivazovsky

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On the Rocky Shore by Ivan Aivazovsky

- Item No.

This breathtaking work by Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky was owned by the Russian Imperial family

Key Features

  • This breathtaking work by Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky was owned by the Russian Imperial family
  • This stunning waterscape highlights the monumentality of the shores of Feodosiya, a city in Crimea
  • Aivazovsky is considered to be one of the most famous and talented artists of all time
  • He is in demand on the art market with both museums and private collectors competing for his work
  • Signed in Cyrillic and dated "1866" (in lower left hand corner)
  • Dated: 1866
  • Canvas: 12" high x 15 1/4" wide Frame: 20 1/2" high x 24 1/4" wide

Item Details

  • Width:
    C:15.1/4" F:24 1/4" Inches
  • Height:
    C: 12" F: 20 1/2" Inches
  • Period:
    19th Century
  • Origin:
    Other Europe
  • Subject:
    Seascape
  • Artist:
    Aivazovsky, Ivan Konstantinovich
Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky
1817-1900· Armenian-Russian

On the Rocky Shore

Signed in Cyrillic and dated "1866" (in lower left hand corner)
Oil on Canvas

This breathtaking work by Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky was owned by the Russian Imperial family, acquired by Tzar Alexander II and displayed at the Winter Palace.  Depicting a ship crashing against a rocky shore in a turbulent sea, this stunning waterscape highlights the monumentality of the shores of Feodosiya, a port city in Crimea. The expansive sky is painted so that it is a deep cobalt blue with billowy white clouds descending. The water takes on a more ominous grey-green with frothy waves threatening to overtake the precarious bridge and lighthouse on the coast. The ship, in obvious danger, perches on the side of the jagged escarpment as the majestic waves threaten to overwhelm.

The seascape was the preferred subject of Aivazovsky's paintings and he became well known for his marine paintings. Listed in the United Artists Rating under the highest category of 1, Aivazovsky is considered to be one of the most famous and talented artists of all time.  He is especially admired for the romanticism of his paintings and the exquisite rendering of waves, sea foam, and clouds. With On the Rocky Shore Aivazovsky takes a stormy scene and transforms it into a shimmering wind-swept majestic canvas full of awe and grandeur, a simply breathtaking vision.

The city of Feodosiya was extremely important to Aivazovsky as he was born there in 1817. Aivazovsky's family, though highly educated, had a series of financial struggles before his birth and so he was born into highly cultured yet extremely poor circumstances. His talent as an artist developed very early in his life and he attended the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, graduating with a gold medal. While at the Academy, Aivazovsky trained in war, painting scenes concentrating on sea battles. His work was recognized as outstanding and masterful although he was only a second year student.  Immediately after graduating, Aivazovsky was awarded a scholarship to return to Crimea and paint the views of the coastal towns. Here, in his hometown, he perfected his art and his love of his native landscape, which was manifest in each picture.

In 1865, he opened up a school of art in the city of his birth and spent a lot of time painting the Crimean shore again before he traveled to the Caucasus in 1868. This magnificent painting was almost certainly painted during this period. Heartbroken by the Hamidian massacres of Armenians in 1895, Aivazovsky spent his last years in his hometown of Feodysia and again the seascapes from the banks of Crimea can be seen in many later works by the artist.

Today Aivazovsky is renowned as a master of the seascape, and important collections of 19th-century art are not complete without his inclusion. In 2012 at a Sotheby's auction, an Aivazovsky's painting was sold for $5.2 million dollars. The artist is in high demand on the art market with both museums and private collectors competing for his works. Although Aivazovsky was prolific and produced many works, they are still incredibly difficult to acquire because of the artist's extreme popularity.

Dated: 1866

Canvas: 12" high x 15 1/4" wide
Frame: 20 1/2" high x 24 1/4" wide

Select Artist's Museum Collections:
Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
National Gallery of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia
Philadelphia Museum of Art,  PA
Schleswig-Holstein Museums, Germany

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