Seascape Painters: Ivan Konstantinovich Ayvazovskiy

Undoubtedly, one of the most famous seascape painters of all the times is Aivazovsky (1817 – 1900). Ivan Konstantinovich Ayvazovskiy was born in Russia to an Armenian family. His hometown was Feodosiya which is a port town of Crimea.

When he was in Simferopol Gymnasium, his talent in art had been realized by Tzar Nikolai I, and he was accepted into St. Petersburg Academy of Arts by the commands of Tzar. He improved his style by painting the reproductions of works of Joseph Vernet’s who is a French painter.

Ivan Konstantinovich Ayvazovskiy

Ivan Konstantinovich Ayvazovskiy

He became student of a landscape painter Philippe Tanneur. After the Russian War in Baltic Sea, his paintings of naval scenes made him famous. In the same year, he was graduated from St. Petersburg Academy of Arts and was sent to Europe by government. In 1842, he earned a golden medal. After staying in Rome and Paris for a while, he returned to Petersburg in 1844.

In 1845, he came to Istanbul/Turkey upon an invitation of Sultan Abdulmecid and was assigned as a court painter. Between 1845 and 1890, he has come to Istanbul/Turkey four times. He has prepared the paintings for Dolmabahce Palace requested by Sultan Abdulaziz and he has stayed in Kurucesme Island (today’s Su Ada) for a month. He presented two of his paintings to Sultan Abdulhamid II as a gift in his last visit in 1890. In addition to Istanbul, he has painted Trabzon, Sinop, Çeşme and Chios’ landscapes.

In his paintings, there is 20 – 25 degrees of angles based on the sea plane. The ships fighting the waves in the storm formed the main composition of his works. He was one of the paramount painters of wild seas and foaming waves. He did not use many colours in storm and sky’s fantastic appearance. You can never see endless and deep blue sea. Generally his paintings reflected melancholy.

On the other hand, the landscape paintings of Istanbul was the most silent works of his. This may be a consequence of spending a peaceful time in Istanbul.

Translation: Umut Çelen Arıcan

Bosphorus by Moonlight

Bosphorus by Moonlight – 1894


Petro – 1846

Port of Odessa

Port of Odessa


Storm – 1886

The Ninth Wave

The Ninth Wave

1 Comment
  • Julianne

    Oct 17 2013 tarihinde 06:04'de yazıldı.


    It’s nearly impossible to find experienced people for this subject,
    however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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