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Painting "The Ninth Wave" by Ivan Aivazovsky Description

Painting "The Ninth Wave" by Ivan Aivazovsky Description


Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky - an outstanding master of seascape (marina) of the middle - second half of the 19th century. Born near the sea, in Feodosia, the artist throughout his life remained faithful to his favorite element, devoting all his many years of work to it.

The painting "The Ninth Wave", created in 1850, immediately became the most famous of all his marinas and was acquired by Nikolai I. The famous collector P.M. Tretyakov got interested in Aivazovsky's successes, tracked his works at exhibitions and visited the painter's workshop in Feodosia. In one of his enthusiastic letters to the artist, Tretyakov wrote:

“... give me only your magic water, such that it would fully convey your incomparable talent! .. I really want to have your picture in my collection as soon as possible!"


The sea depicted after a night storm, barely catching its breath, was to meet the ninth wave – the apogee of storms, according to the legend. The surviving exhausted navigators cling to the wreckage of the ship's masts. The sky lit by the dawn sun seems to promise them victory.

Such works can only be created in happy moments of creativity. Following the painting, Aivazovsky wrote a whole series of "storms" (“A ship among a stormy sea”, “Rainbow”). They alternate with images of a calm elegiac sea, which betrays in their author the last representative of painting of the era of romanticism.
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