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The Ninth Wave by Ivan Aivazovsky

    Ninth Wave by Ivan Aivazovsky

    The Ninth Wave by Ivan Aivazovsky was created in 1850. The painting is in State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg. The size of the work is 221 x 332 cm and is made of oil on canvas.

    It depicts a sea after a night storm and people facing death attempting to save themselves by clinging to debris from a wrecked ship. The debris, in the shape of the cross, appears to be a Christian metaphor for salvation from the earthly sin. The title refers to a traditional nautical belief that the ninth wave is the last, largest and most deadly wave in a series, at which point the cycle begins again. This painting shows both the destructiveness and beauty of nature.

    About the Artist: Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (1817 – 1900) was a Russian Romantic painter who is considered one of the greatest masters of marine art. Baptized as Hovhannes Aivazian. He was born into an Armenian family in Feodosia and was mostly based there. Young Ivan was mesmerized by the grandeur of the view and the heroic stories told about the Greeks and the famous battles of the past. His talent was discovered at a very early age. He was taken on as an apprentice by a local architect and later sent to a gymnasium in Simferopol where he showed such amazing artistic skills that influential locals helped him move to St. Petersburg to enter the Academy of Art… Read more

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