Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky
Ivan Aivazovsky (Hovhannes Aivasovsky, originally Aivazian; Russian: Иван Константинович Айвазовский) (July 29, 1817 - May 5, 1900) was an Armenian-Russian world-renowned painter living and working in Crimea, most famous for his seascapes, which constitute more than half of his paintings. Aivazovsky is widely considered as one of the greatest seascape painters of all time.
Aivazovsky was born in the town of Feodosiya (Theodosia), Crimea (Russian Empire) to a poor Armenian family. His brother was the Armenian Archbishop Gabriel Aivazovsky. His family moved to the Crimea from Galicia (then in southern Poland, now in Ukraine) in 1812. His parents' family name was Aivazian but in Poland it was written Haivazian. Some of the artist's paintings bear a signature, in Armenian letters, "Hovhannes Aivazian". His father taught him to play the violin and speak Polish and Ukrainian fluently. His talent as an artist earned him sponsorship and entry to the Simferopol gymnasium No1 and later the St.Petersburg Academy of Arts, which he graduated with a gold medal. Earning awards for his early landscapes and seascapes, he went on to paint a series of portraits of Crimean coastal towns before travelling throughout Europe. In later life, his paintings of naval scenes earned him a long-standing commission from the Russian Navy stationed in the Black Sea.
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