Ivan Konstaninovich Aivazovsky, 1817-1900

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Ivan Konstaninovich Aivazovsky, 1817-1900 storm off the coast of feodosia signed l.r., dated 1851 and inscribed Feodosia oil on canvas 55.5 by 75 cm., 21 3/4 by 29 1/2 in. Literature: Illustrated in: Caffiero and Samarine, Seas, Cities and Dreams, The Paintings of Ivan Aivazovsky, London, 2000, pp.236-237, plate 171 Exhibited: Turkiye Is Bankasi A.S. Istanbul, Denizler, Sehirler ve Dusler: Ivan Ayvazovski'nin Resimleri, January/February 2001 Aivazovsky returned home to Theodosia in 1846 at the age of 28 with the intention of setting up a permanent studio. By this time he had established his name and reputation in St. Petersburg, currying favour with the Tsar himself. His reputation had also extended throughout Europe, and he had amassed a considerable personal fortune, much of which he spent on civic improvements in Theodosia and on the foundation of his new studio, which after the artist's death became a public gallery. The offered lot dates to this early period in Theodosia, just before the outbreak of the Crimean War. The subject is a variation on the theme of the Shipwreck, depicting the boat in the midst of a violent storm, being tossed and turned, the masts askew. It touches on the 19th century preoccupation with man's place in the natural world, where he is no longer the master, but struggling to survive in an increasingly hostile natural environment.