Paintings

Description of the painting by Ivan Aivazovsky "Moonlit night at sea"


Another name: "Storm at sea at night."

Year of creation - 1895, used canvas and oil. Size - 47 by 75 cm. Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

An alarming and disturbing picture of an outstanding marine painter shows the riot of elements in the cold light of an indifferent moon. It almost does not fall within the boundaries of the canvas, hidden by clouds above, but its presence is evident from the bright silver radiance that spilled above, by the glare on the rippling, stormy and dangerous sea off the coast of Gurzuf.

Gurzuf Bay, serene in fine weather, with a squally wind, during storms and mists became a dangerous place for sailors. Since ancient times, at the Ayu-Dag cape, a powerful silhouette of which is towering in the background in bulk, ships have crashed onto rocks. One of the sailboats, which seems so fragile and lost in the midst of the storm, is darkening against the backdrop of Bear Mountain. The ship tipped heavily, but perhaps the crew decided to leave it only temporarily. One of the boats is shown nearby, the four sailors have almost managed to get to the saving coast, avoiding all the dangers.

The painter uses a restrained palette with a predominance of dark and gray-blue, ink and gray shades. He carefully and accurately sets light accents on the canvas: the strongest near the boat - emphasizes the difficult situation of people, a little weaker on the rocky island of Adallarov closer to the horizon - it shows a threat and draws attention to the ship. Deeply and carefully registered are the high surging waves, which pose a threat in the dark, almost black depths. Superbly, as if in a long exposure photograph, a myriad of salty splashes shattering on the rock from the left are painted. Light strokes are recorded clouds running across the sky, but their total mass is shown only by the transition from a gloomy cornflower blue to purple.





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