Aivazovsky| Russian Romantic painter
In 1844, Aivazovsky, who returned from Europe after completing his studies abroad, was hired as a full-time painter by the Russian Ministry of the Navy, so that he could follow the fleet to visit the main Russian ports and observe their style closely. He is also attracted by the paintings of historical military themes.
At first glance, Aivazovsky's oil painting - Chesme Gulf Battle, is like a nighttime festival fireworks show. However, after careful observation, we realized that it was actually a fierce battle that took place at night. In the depths of the bay, several Turkish warships started a raging fire, one of which was detonated due to ammunition. With deafening explosion, the ship body turn to wood chips and instantly flew into the sky. The fragments, accompanied by the flames of thick smoke, looked as if the festive fireworks, which were symbolizing the victory of the Russians. Turkish sailors were desperately clinging to the sunken ship slate. On the right side of the painting, we can see a paddle boat approaching the Russian flagship, which is Lieutenant Elin, who just had an adventure with a fireboat full of explosives and gunpowder, blew up an enemy battleship. Aivazovsky used the colors of light and dark to depict the great victory that took place 78 years ago. The dark moonlight in the sky, the sky's flames, and the seemingly cold water form a sharp contrast.
Aivazovsky was just fine in portraying the battle scenes because he did not consult the artists but listened carefully to the advice of admirals and sailors. In 1846, when he celebrated his tenth year of service, Admiral Kornilov led a full-scale fleet to visit his hometown Feodosia for his support, demonstrating their love to Aivazovsky.
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