French ships departing the black sea
Oil on canvas. Signed lower right and dated 1871
Size: 19 x 25 ¼ in. (48 x 64 cm.)
Departing the black sea depicts a specific moment in European- Russian history
Certificate of Authenticity by Gianni Caffiero and Ivan Samarine will be submitted. Cat raisonne and published on Aug 29, 2016 by Ivan Samarine
Provenance: Bonham's, London
PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION
Aivazovsky's color palette and manipulation of light was particularly unique, gravitating towards bright color, especially Blues, so extraordinary was his own utilization of blue
That his color of choice was often referred to as "Aivazovsky Blue".
French Ships Departing the Black Sea displays many of the hallmarks of Russian Ivan Aivazovsky's Romantic marine paintings, which made him famous throughout the world during his lifetime: an expansive vista featuring accurate vessels and rugged natural elements; a dramatic handling of light, with especial attention to the rising or setting sun as it spotlights areas of water; an icy-blue palette and velvety textures in the sky and sea; and the theme of man's relationship to nature. While many of Aivazovsky's nearly 6,000 seascapes are general, poetic interpretations of ships on stormy seas, French Ships Departing the Black Sea depicts a specific moment in European-Russian history: the dissolving in 1870 of the Treaty of Paris, which had been instituted in 1856 at the conclusion of the Crimean War, the effort of France, Britain, Austria, and Sardinia to protect the Ottoman Empire from Russian invasion. The Treaty of Paris stated that as part of Russia's concessions for losing the War, the Black Sea would no longer be home to Russian warships, but rather a neutral zone open to international trade. For nearly fifteen years, Turkish and European ships traded on these waters, until 1870 when Russia, renouncing the Treaty, began rebuilding its naval fleet here and threatening the Allied presence.
In French Ships Departing the Black Sea, painted the year after Russia abrogated the Treaty of Paris, Aivazovsky highlights a large French sailing vessel in the center of a classically constructed composition. Fashionable French tourists on a bank in the lower left prepare to board a dory, which will transport them back to the ship. The calm sea, the soft light bathing the North Anatolian Mountains, and on the shore, the chatty bystanders and a carefree Turkish fisherman, belie the looming threat of Russian warships, which by the end of 1870, would utterly transform this halcyon setting.
It is no surprise that Aivazovsky would have been interested in recording this particular moment in nineteenth-century French-Russian maritime history, as he was beloved by both his native Russians and by the French, longtime patrons. Too, the Black Sea held special meaning for him because he was born in one of its port towns, Feodosia. Establishing his career during the 1830s, Aivazovsky studied battle painting at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, and he participated in military exercises on the Crimean waterfront, fraternizing with top Russian admirals. The Academy paid for him to continue his artistic training in Europe, where fell under the spell of works by the seventeenth-century Italian landscapists Salvator Rosa and Claude Lorrain, and where he met the influential British marine painter J.M.W. Turner. A mere decade later, the Russian Navy appointed Aivazovsky as its official artist, and he traveled throughout his career with officers and the imperial family to capture various military maneuvers and battles. Always attuned to the larger European art world, which showered him with awards and exhibitions, Aivazovsky lived in Paris in the mid 1850s and was the first non-Frenchman to receive the Legion of Honor. Lauded by Russians and French alike, he no doubt would have felt ambiguous about the Russians' renunciation of the Treaty of Paris and, therefore, in this painting, presents the peaceful departure of French ships from this historically complicated region.
We wish to thank Gianni Caffiero for confirming the authenticity of this painting, which will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work being prepared by Caffiero and Ivan Samarine.
Mr.Ivan Samarine, Stated that the " French Ships Departing the Black Sea "
Is a particularly Lovely painting and was chosen to be published in their Latest Edition on the Book published by Ivan Samarine on Aug, 29.2016.