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Biographical Outline

1817 17 July (29 July N. S.): Born in Theodosia, son of Konstantin Aivazovsky, a minor official, who had come to the Crimea from Galicia (Austria) and settled there at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

1830 Entered the Simferopol gymnasium.

1833 Enrolled at the St Petersburg Academy of Arts.

1835 Received a silver medal, second class, for his Study of Air over the Sea. The picture was subsequently acquired for the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. Made the acquaintance of leading figures of Russian culture, including Mikhail Glinka, Vissarion Belinsky, Ivan Krylov, Vasily Zhukovsky and Karl Briullov.

1836 Received a gold medal, second class. Met Alexander Pushkin. Took part in the ma­noeuvres of the Baltic Sea Fleet.

1837 Received a gold medal, first class, "for excellent achievements in the painting of marine views".

1838 In recognition of outstanding success, dis­patched to the Crimea for two years of independent work at the expense of the St Petersburg Academy of Arts.

1839 Took part in the manoeuvres of the Baltic Sea Fleet under the command of Rayevsky.

1840 Sent abroad for further study.

1842 Met the famous English marine painter, Joseph Mallord William Turner.

1841-44 Travelled in Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, England and Holland. Visited Malta. Became a member of the Amsterdam Academy.

1844 Returned to Russia. Attached to the Chief Naval Staff. Received the title of academician of the St Petersburg Academy of Arts.

1845 Set off on voyage around the shores of Asia Minor and the Greek islands. On his return built a house and studio in Theodosia.

1846 Celebrated ten years of creative work. Exhibition of his pictures held in Theodosia.

1847 Made Professor of the St Petersburg Academy of Arts.

1848 First exhibition in Moscow.

1850 The Ninth- Wave (now in the Russian Museum, Leningrad).

1851 Second exhibition in Moscow.

1853 Took part in archaeological excavations near Theodosia, discovered valuable articles now housed in the Hermitage.

1854 Exhibition of Aivazovsky's battle pictures in besieged Sevastopol.

1857 Exhibition in Paris, for which Aivazovsky was awarded the Legion of Honour.

1865 On the opening of an art school in Theodosia, he was taken on the staff of the St Petersburg Academy of Arts.

1868 Painted a series of pictures inspired by the Greek struggle for liberation. Travelled in the Caucasus.

1869 Trip to Egypt. Invited to the celebrations for the opening of the Suez Canal. Became the first artist to paint the Suez Canal, thus marking an epoch-making event in the history of Europe, Africa and Asia.

1871 Built the Historical and Archaeological Museum in Theodosia.

1872 Visited Nice and Florence with an exhibition of his works.

1873 The Rainbow (now in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow).

1876 Became a member of the Academy of Arts in Florence. Painted his self-portrait for the Pitti Gallery.

1879 Travelled to Genoa to collect material on the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.

1880 Founded the Theodosia Art Gallery.

1881 The Black Sea (now in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow).

1884 Travelled down the Volga.

1887 Celebrated fifty years of creative work. Exhibition in St Petersburg.

1892 Trip to New York and Washington. Visited Niagara Falls.

1898 Amidst the Waves (now in the Picture Gallery, Theodosia).

1900 Died in Theodosia on 19 April (2 May N. S.).

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