Ivan Aivazowsky

Russian Romanticism painter of Armenian origin (his original name was Aivazian). He lived from 1817 – 1900 mostly on the Crimea peninsula. His brother was Armenian Archbishop.

Aivazovsky is widely considered one of the greatest seascape painters of all times. His way to depict the shimmering light on waves and seafoam and diffuse sunlight and moonlight through almost transparent layers of color is especially admired. It gives his paintings a romantic, yet realistic quality that shows influence of J. M. W. Turner and Sylverster Shchedrin.

He had a long standing commission with the Russian Navy stationed at the Black  Sea. He was also several times a guest of the Ottoman Sultans in Istanbul where he was commissioned with a number of paintings as a court painter. Up to today dozens of his paintings of his are on display at Turkish museums and a painting of his adorns the office of the Turkish Foreign minister though Aivazovsky cut all ties to the Turkish after the Armenian massacres in Asia Minor in 1895. He was deeply affected by them and painted a number of paintings on this subject.

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