Aivazovsky, Ivan ([Айвазовський, Іван; Ajvazovs’kyj], also known as Haivazovsky [Гайвазовський; Hajvazovs’kyj]), b 29 July 1817 in Teodosiia, d 5 May 1900 in Teodosiia. Painter of seascapes. Aivazovsky was descended from a family of Galician Armenians who had settled in the Crimea. He obtained his artistic education at the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts, becoming an academician in 1845 and an honorary member of the academy in 1887 (he was also a member of four other academies). In 1845 Aivazovsky settled in Teodosiia. A member of the Society of South Russian Artists, he exhibited his work in Odesa, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, and elsewhere. Aivazovsky produced some 6,000 paintings, depicting mainly scenes on the Black Sea and turbulent seascapes, including The Ninth Wave, Black Sea, Amid the Waves, Flood in Sudak, and Storm. He also painted sea battles (such as Siege of Sevastopil) and Ukrainian landscapes. During his student years Aivazovsky often traveled in Ukraine with Vasilii Shternberg. Among his many paintings depicting Ukrainian and Crimean scenes and landscapes are the following: Ukrainian Oxcart in Winter, Harvest in Ukraine, Chumak Wagon Train, Winter Scene in Ukraine, Windmills in the Ukrainian Steppe during Sunset, Wedding in Ukraine, Moonlight on the Dnieper, Reed-Bank on the Dnieper near the Town of Oleshky, Odesa at Night, Crimean View in Moonlight, View of the Crimea, and Harvest in the Crimea. In 1880 Aivazovsky established an artists' studio and picture gallery in Teodosiia, which he donated later to the city. The Aivazovsky Picture Gallery in Teodosiia houses some 400 of his works, as well as paintings by Crimean seascape artists and a small collection of seascapes by Western artists. Aivazovsky was the subject of a monograph by N. Barsamov (1967) and a biography by L. Vagner and N. Grigorovich (2001). An album with numerous rich color plates of the artist’s works appeared in 2000 as Seas, Cities and Dreams: The Paintings of Ivan Aivazovsky.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]