Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky was a Russian Romantic painter. He is considered one of the greatest marine artists in history. Baptized as Hovhannes Aivazian, Aivazovsky was born into an Armenian family in the Black Sea port of Feodosia and was mostly based in his native Crimea.
Following his education at the Imperial Academy of Arts, Aivazovsky traveled to Europe and lived briefly in Italy in the early 1840s. He then returned to Russia and was appointed the main painter of the Russian Navy. Aivazovsky had close ties with the military and political elite of the Russian Empire and often attended military maneuvers. He was sponsored by the imperial family and was well-regarded during his lifetime. The winged word worthy of Aivazovskys brush, popularized by Anton Chekhov, was used in Russia for describing something ineffably lovely.
One of the most prominent Russian artists of his time, Aivazovsky was also popular outside Russia. He held numerous solo exhibitions in Europe and the United States. During his almost sixty-year career, he created around 6,000 paintings,making him one of the most prolific artists of his time. The vast majority of his works are seascapes, but he often depicted battle scenes, Armenian themes, and portraiture. Most of Aivazovskys works are kept in Russian, Ukrainian and Armenian museums as well as private collections.