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Russian Painters: Depicting Infusion of Light, Painting Snow

Painting Seascapes and Landscape in Winter

Unlike in past, the Genre of Landscape Painting has now become a distinctive class of paintings. On one side it adores the beauty of ever-changing surfaces of Mother Earth, and on another beautification of sky, too, makes the artists and art lovers enjoying this genre of painting.

Little Russian Ox-Cart in winter

An artist with a skill of creating balanced compositions, and using the tonal values of colours at their best, would recreate the beauty on canvas. The landscape painting has been one of the ancient forms of art, but it attracts the artists and art lovers of modern time, too. When we see canvases painted by Monet, Van Gogh or Turner, we feel that we are looking at the visual documentation of panorama of nature. The element of an artist’s desire to recreate the scene that he or she sees makes these types of painting so popular. This very passion has survived the generations of great painters.

Though the Artists can choose unlimited subjects for depicting their artistic prowess, the landscape has the timeless appeal; to the minds of painters, and to the minds of the art lovers. Such is the aesthetic value of these paintings. Once we focus our eyes on paintings done by artists like Alfred Sisley or David Friederich, we get involved in the unspoiled beauty of nature.

In this painting 'Loading Provisions off the Crimean coast'; the Russian master artist Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky has tried infusing transparency of the colours to the effect that we can feel the reflection of the sun in seawater, happening just before our eyes. Here the play of light gives a romantic look to the seascape. Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky (1817 - 1900) was admired for his technique of painting and rich imagination in depicting the happening on landscapes. We can see the shimmering play of light on waves and sea-foam visible in the painting.

Seascape by Russian Artist : The seascape painters endeavour to catch the peace of the water; they want to paint the terror in water, too. The pleasure in looking at a seascape painting lies in the fact that the painting captures the happening of a moving object, the sea waters. It is a challenge to an artist, too, to lay all the moods of the constantly moving water and the atmosphere of the sea on his or her canvas.

The Ninth wave (Oil on Canvas): Water in all of its form has been a popular subject among the painters—beginners and the master artists. Most of the artists have preferred painting seascape by sitting at seashore or a balcony of a comfortable hotel from which sea is clearly visible. But there are artists who have painted the seascape by going in middle of sea. They tried painting each and every mood of the sea.

The Art of Painting Seascape: In the above painting, The Ninth Wave, the Russian painter Aivasovsky Ivan Constantinovich who was born in the family of a merchant of Armenian origin in the town of Feodosia, Crimea has demonstrated the violent but the eye-catching mood of the sea. With keeping the romantic feature of painting in tact, artist has demonstrated his unfailing realistic tendency so evidently in this painting.

The Artist: Presently located at The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, The Ninth Wave (1853) that demonstrated Aivasovsky Ivan Constantinovich’s artistic proves in painting at the peak level is considered one of the best paintings by the Russian painters. In The Ninth Wave the sea is shown as it happens after a night storm where the people on board are terrorized and facing death. Here the sailors are painted attempting to save themselves from the wrecked ship.

Allegory as Theme: If there is any allegory in this painting, it is in its colour scheme. By using bright and hopeful colours the painter has become suggesting. The colour scheme of the painter suggests that the sea is not so threatening that the people on board become helpless in saving themselves. With showing the terrorising upsurge of the waves, the painter has depicted hope of the bright light in distance. It is a proverbial saying that a painter can say in a picture what a writer cannot say in writing of thousands of words: and if we are to believe the allegory embedded in this painting, The Ninth Wave, the proverb is not said without reasons. [Image courtesy: Ox Cart in winter, By Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky (scan of painting) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons , Crimean Cost By Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky (scan of painting) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, Ninth Wave By Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky (scan of painting) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

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