Historic Painting: “The Tempest” by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1886.

Gorgeous and evocative – indeed this picture is worth more than a thousand words!



I want to thank fellow history blogger Andrew Joseph Pegoda for bringing this incredible painting and its amazing artist–Russian 19th century romanticist Ivan Aivazovsky–to my attention. This picture, completed in 1886, depicts survivors rowing desperately from their stricken sailing ship in the midst of a crashing storm. Undoubtedly thousands of similar pictures were created in the height of the Romanticist art boom in the 19th century, where marine scenes were especially popular, but this one by Aivazovsky is truly over the top. He is regarded as one of the best nautical painters of all time and from this you can tell why: look at how realistic and dynamic the waves in this picture are. This was Aivasovsky’s specialty, and waves of this nature appear in many of his paintings across his long career which stretches from the late 1840s to the end of the century.

Ivan Aivazovsky was born in…

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