Interesting facts about Ivan Aivazovsky

The real name and surname of the genius artist is not Ivan Aivazovsky, but Hovhannes Ayvazyan. He was born on July 17, 1817 in the family of an Armenian merchant Gevork Ayvayazyan. Place of birth - the city of Feodosia, Taurida province. Back in the 18th century, the artist's ancestors moved from Armenia to Galicia, and his father moved to Feodosia. Moreover, Gevork Ayvazyan wrote his last name in the Polish manner - Gaivazovsky. Gevork and his wife Hripsime had five children, three sons and two daughters.

From an early age, Aivazovsky showed the ability not only to painting, but also to music, he independently learned to play the violin. But, the craving for painting turned out to be stronger, at first he studied in Feodosia with the famous architect Yakov Khristianovich Kokh, and at the age of sixteen Ivan left for St. Petersburg, where he entered the Imperial Academy of Arts.

Two years later, Aivazovsky became an assistant to the French marine painter Philippe Tanner. He forbade Aivazovsky to work on the paintings on his own, but he not only wrote them, but also sent them to exhibitions. The dissatisfied mentor complained about Aivazovsky himself to Emperor Nicholas I. Ivan was almost expelled from the Academy, but then they had mercy, recognizing the talent of the young painter.

And Aivazovsky's talent, indeed, was recognized very early. His father, Gevrok Ayvazyan, was a merchant, but his son, at the age of 22, simultaneously with the certificate of graduation from the Imperial Academy of Arts, received a personal nobility. The corresponding decree was signed on September 23, 1839. Six cities in different countries at once awarded Aivazovsky the title of honorary citizen during the artist's lifetime.

Aivazovsky painted pictures with incredible speed, up to a hundred canvases a year. On each of his works, he spent from several hours to several days. After completing the work, Aivazovsky no longer returned to this picture without trying to change anything in it. During his life, and Ivan Konstantinovich lived for 82 years, he painted about 6, 000 paintings. At the same time, the paintings, even after many years, are in excellent condition and rarely require restoration.

Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky is better known as a brilliant marine painter. But, he was also engaged in battle painting, and in 1838 he even visited Circassia, where he took part in hostilities. It was here that the sketches were made for the painting "Troopers of the detachment in the Subashi Valley". Currently, the canvas is in the Feodosia Art Gallery.

Experts say that Aivazovsky's work is very difficult to verify for authenticity, it takes a lot of time and money. Therefore, quality fakes very often fall on the antique market. Many of them, even after examination, are recognized as originals. Thus, the number of "originals" is several times greater than the paintings on which Ivan Konstantinovich really worked.

In September 1836, Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin came to one of the exhibitions at the Academy of Arts, where he was introduced to the 19-year-old painter Aivazovsky. But, the acquaintance was not long, a few months later Pushkin died tragically, having been mortally wounded in a duel. Aivazovsky had great respect for the great poet, but he did not read his works. And not only Pushkin, Aivazovsky did not differ at all with a passion for reading.

Pushkin is depicted in several paintings by Aivazovsky, but the artist worked on them many years after the death of Alexander Sergeevich. By the way, contemporaries noted that Aivazovsky and Pushkin even had an outward resemblance. A friend of the poet P. A. Vyazemsky wrote in one of his letters to the historian M. P. Pogodin that Aivazovsky "apart from his excellent talent, has one more special merit: his appearance resembles our A. S. Pushkin."

Obituaries about the death of Aivazovsky appeared in some French newspapers during his lifetime. In the Bay of Biscay, a ship carrying the painter was caught in a terrible storm. But the French newspapermen were clearly in a hurry, fortunately, everything ended well.

One of the paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky really liked the Venetian merchant, who decided to buy it. True, he offered a kind of payment - a sausage of his own production. Surprisingly, the deal took place, the entrepreneur became the owner of the painting, and the painter received a large shipment of sausage.

During his long life, Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky traveled half the world. But, he died in his homeland, in the city of Feodosia on April 19, 1900. Aivazovsky bequeathed to bury him in the courtyard of the oldest Armenian church in the city - Surb Sarkis. The will was fulfilled, the crypts of Aivazovsky and his wife Anna Nikitichna, who died in 1944, are located next to the western wall of the temple. The first mention of the Surb Sarkis Church dates back to 1361.