Every country with a port has at least one master of sea painting, but Russia can claim perhaps the very best.
Ivan Aivazovsky, The Ninth Wave, 1850, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
Ivan Aivazovsky produced some of the most celebrated seascapes in history, capturing the changing colors and moods of the sea more spectacularly than any other artist before him.
Ivan Aivazovsky, Chaos — Genesis, 1841, San Lazaro degli Armeni Monastry, Venice
Ivan Aivazovsky, Stormy Sea at Night, 1849, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
Ivan Aivazovsky, Strong Wind, 1856, Sphinx Fine Art Gallery, London
Even the British master J.M.W. Turner recognized Aivazovsky’s genius, and in 1842 wrote him a poem to let him know, praising effects “that only genius could inspire” (quoted in Bolton, Roy, Views of Russia & Russian Works on Paper, 2010, p.141).
Ivan Aivazovsky, Rainbow, 1873, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Ivan Aivazovsky, View of the Sea by Moonlight, 1878, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
Ivan Aivazovsky, Black Sea, 1881, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Ivan Aivazovsky, Among the Waves, 1898, The Aivazovsky Art Gallery, Feodosia
The sea doesn’t get more sublime than that.