“In him alone there are combined a general, a bishop, an artist, an Armenian, an naive old peasant and an Othello.” - Anton Chekhov
Who he was
Ivan Aivazovsky was born in Crimea in 1817 and became one of the great artists of the 19th century and the most renowned artist of seascapes in history. His deft use of the paintbrush was recognized early in his life and he painted tirelessly, producing around 6,000 paintings.
Although his primary subject was the sea in all its splendid variation, his works also displayed an affinity for his heritage: a scene of Armenians being baptized, views of Mt. Ararat and a painting of the great Armenian Catholicos Khrimyan Hayrig formed a part of his repertoire. But nothing matched his copious production of paintings that involved the sea, his true love.
His works have been exhibited or currently reside in the Louvre Museum in Paris, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Many of his pieces remain in private collections around the world.
At least 11 countries in the world have issued postal stamps with Aivazovsky or his paintings depicted.