Ivan Aivazovsky Oil on canvas, 107 x 82 cm
cjr Byron in Venice July 29, 1817 C May 5, 1900) was a Russian painter of Armenian descent, most famous for his seascapes, which constitute more than half of his paintings.Aivazovsky was born in the town of Feodosiya, Crimea, to a poor Armenian family. His parents family name was Aivazian. Some of artist's paintings bear a signature, in Armenian letters, "Hovhannes Aivazian" (Յովհաննէս Այվազեան). His talent as an artist earned him sponsorship and entry to the Simferopol gymnasium ??1 and later the St.Petersburg Academy of Arts, from which he graduated with the gold medal. Earning awards for his early landscapes and seascapes, he went on to paint a series of portraits of Crimean coastal towns before traveling throughout Europe. In later life, his paintings of naval scenes earned him a longstanding commission from the Russian Navy.
In 1845, Aivazovsky went to Istanbul upon the invitation of Sultan Abdelmecid, a city he was to travel to eight times between 1845-1890.