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Moonlit night. The Bathhouse in Feodosia, Aivazovsky - Description of the Painting

02 April 2022
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Moonlit night. The Bathhouse in Feodosia - Aivazovsky. 1853. Oil on canvas. 94 x143 cm


The "Moonlit Night. The Bathhouse in Feodosia” was painted by Aivazovsky back in 1853. And the very first thing attracting the viewers’ attention is the bright lunar disk, breaking the thick and dense darkness of the southern night with its light.

Surrounded by the clouds, the moon is generously pouring its light, accentuating the sweeping shapes of cumulus clouds, gradually getting dense and fading into darkness at the very top of the painting. A bright path glows is shown on the calm and nearly black water surface, with the greenish color of the waves.

The silhouettes of the anchored vessels are clearly standing out on the horizon, with their sails lowered, and themselves seeming to be immersed in a slumber. In the meantime, the shore depicted on the right hand is perfectly lit, with the details of the buildings clearly visible.

There is no opposition of the human to the nature power shown on the painting – only peace and appeasement.

The mountains are getting lost in a light mist, not occupying a dominant place on the canvas.

The key plot of this painting is occupied by a small house, which is a bathhouse. Its details are entirely hidden in the dark, but the door is ajar, and one can observe a girl is sitting inside and waiting.

She has a plain white bathing dress on and is having a rest meditatively. The lamp light the bath from the inside, with its bright light spreading everywhere like warm gold, illuminating the translucent canopy shown a bit to the right.

And, due to this lighting, one can observe another girl, who is swimming towards the bathhouse. Her face can be easily seen above the water, together with the splashes and scattered robes shown in the water.

Unlike many other pictures by the great master, traditionally filled with stress and fight, "The Bathhouse in Feodosia" presents an example of a dreamy romance, with the unhurried melody of the wave splashes, the sleeping city, and the melodious laughter of the bathing ladies. The viewer who looks at the painting carefully, will get imbued with a deep and all-consuming sense of peace and repose with every minute.
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