The sea stood in the middle of various art movements going on during the 18th and 19th centuries. It became a common portal through which the artist and the onlooker could speak in a tongue unknown as the sea spoke to everyone in different ways.
Romanticism in all its glory embraced many seascapes and coastal scenes during its peak as the sea stood for tsunamis of emotions people go through. The seas are also nature’s best-juxtaposed elements.
Ivan Konstantinovich, a Russian Romantic painter was embroidered as the master of seascapes given his complex pieces of work which outlived his flesh and bones. Let us delve into his mind by taking a tour of Aivazovsky oil paintings that are to die for.
1. The Rainbow
It’s a spectacular one out of the many brilliant Aivazovsky oil paintings. This painting screams ‘romantic’ at the very first glance as it shows nature’s overpowering ability over man.
As opposed to the modern boats, the medieval ones stayed afloat only if the waves were kind to them. Hence, man’s ultimate dependence on nature is expressed here in a very grotesque yet beautiful way as the sea seems wrathful here.
Even though the rain stopped, leaving a colorful effect on the sky, the storm stayed. The rainbow is a beacon of hope in the claws of death these sailors were clasped in. Crafted with delicate and illuminating hues with soft strokes, merging with one another, the foam of the waves outshines the beauty of it. How he managed to make something so haunting seem so delicate will always remain alien to mankind.
2. The Ninth Wave
The painting depicts Ivan Aivazovsky’s art in its entirety, all his nuances and tensions packed into one painting. The 9th wave shows a pack of fatigued sailors at the mercy of nature, holding onto a log of wood in the shape of a cross, which serves a metaphor of hope as well as the spirituality of the contemporary people of the period.
The break of dawn is another hopeful sight to the drowning soldiers at this time of adversity but all in vain since the mighty waves have their mouth open, waiting to make love with them.
The sunlight seems to pierce into the waves which infuses a sense of tranquility in the onlooker and lends a picturesque effect to the painting. The intermingling of the hues of orange and the precision with which light has been depicted is beyond expression. Ivan somehow managed to pacify even the monstrous blue waves as well.
Out of all the landscapes and coastal scenes that have reigned the Aivazovsky paintings, this one stands out due to a myriad of factors. The dark-colored clouds dancing all over the painting lends it a depressive and gloomy undertone.
The sea mostly seems to be flowing in tranquility amidst some high tides here and there. A figure can be seen emerging from the clouds which signify its angelic or heavenly nature. The light the figure emits seems to pierce the gloomy clouds that hover over the sea and clears the way.
Moreover, the figure symbolizes the Son who’s seen as the savior of the people which is the most attractive aspect of this painting. The light rays emerging through the clouds is also appreciative of the aforementioned figure and the soft strokes with which it has been crafted speaks highly of the skills of the artist.
4. Among the Waves
Ivan’s work was ethereal in numerous ways which is what made him a revolutionary academic classicism artist by following its narrow composition rules.
This painting has neither any ships and pitiable drowning soldiers nor has sights of shores or a lighthouse. Its purely just the sea in its own element, swaying with the wind. The sea seems to be armoring itself with more and more high tides as we see the storm approaching.
That’s not all! The storm is a fierce one, so much so that the lines of the sea and the clouds become blurry towards the deeper end of the sea. The waves are painted in tones of blue and green with a sprinkle of white which is also seen hitting the waves from above.
In a terrible tempest, a hint of white light from the heaven above can be seen which gives a calming effect to the whole picturesque of the painting.
The Master of Seascapes
“The movement of the natural elements cannot be captured by a brush: to paint lightning, a gust of wind or the splash of a wave from nature is inconceivable,” Ivan said this but spend his entire life perfecting the very elements of nature, particularly sea waves and showcasing its different moods. His seascapes never escape the eye of the onlooker such was the aura of his art.
See also: 5 Tips For Accessible Art Collecting.
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