Artists / Aivazovsky National Art Gallery
In 1845, Ivan Aivazovsky acquired a plot in the outskirts of Feodosiya, on the very seashore. He decided to build a house with a big art studio and dreamed to establish a school of painting there.
The same year, 1845, the first exhibition comprising 49 works was opened in a part of the house.
In his new Feodosiya studio Aivazovsky created one painting by another. He painted seascapes of Italy, Constantinople, Odessa, Sevastopol, and a huge number of paintings devoted to the Crimea and the Black Sea, the Crimean War of 1853 to 1856 and the glorious Siege of Sevastopol of 1854 and 1855.
In 1865, he opened an art studio in the city on his own expense. Lev Lagorio, Adolf Fessler, Konstantin Bogaevsky, Maximilian Voloshin, three grandsons of the painter Alexey Hansen, Konstantin Artseulov, Mikhail Latri, and a group of Armenian artists were his students. In the Aivazovskys studio the students were taught the same way as in the Academia. They copied original paintings and drew from life. Aivazovsky sent the best works to the Academia to be encouraged. There were more and more people willing to study Aivazovsky and copy his paintings. And then he decided to add to his house an art gallery.
The official opening of the Gallery was timed to the artists birthday and took place on 29 July 1880. It was the first provincial art gallery in Russia being very popular even during lifetime of the seascape painter. The paintings collection was continuously changed because the painters works were sent to exhibitions and never returned. Thus they were replaced by new just painted works.
Leaving his Art Gallery by testament to the city Aivazovsky created a hearth of art by which Russian seascape painting developed. The Gallery became the only seascape painting museum of this kind.