miércoles, 6 de julio de 2016


Christa Zaat

Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (Russian painter) 1817 - 1900
(Russian: Ива́н Константи́нович Айвазо́вский)
Shipwreck Off The Black Sea Coast, 1887
oil on canvas
137 x 234 cm. (54 x 92 in.)
signed in Latin and dated 1887 l.l.; further signed and inscribed Russie on the reverse
private collection

Catalogue Note
The original owner of the present lot, James Frederick Dickson, was a renowned Swedish industrialist and merchant. He and his wife, Blanche Dickson, lived on the Tjolöholm estate in Sweden, in an art nouveau-inspired castle which they designed and completed in 1904 to house their family and their growing art collection (fig. 3).
Dickson gifted Shipwreck Off the Black Sea Coast to his daughter Blanche and her husband, Count Carl Bonde (fig.2). The young couple lived together at the Tjolöholm castle until 1920, and Blanche continued to spend her summers at the estate until 1951. After her death, the painting was inherited by the pair’s youngest child, Count Thure Bonde. This masterwork would have therefore hung in the halls of the Tjolöholm castle throughout the first half of the 20th century.
Shipwreck Off the Black Sea Coast was painted in 1887, only two years before Aivazovsky executed his 3 by 5 metre masterpiece The Wave (fig.1). The brilliant translucence of the waves, the greenish tint to the water and the heavier, almost sculptural brushstrokes that build up the rocks and the sky are typical of these large-scale works. Aivazovsky’s shipwrecks are practically Biblical in their scope, with nature at its most unforgiving and man at his most helpless. His shipwrecked survivors are the ‘unhappy creatures, storm-tossed, disconsolate’ of Isaiah, and no doubt it is the drama of these colossal canvases that appealed so directly to a public primed by the Romantic sensibilities of the age.
The present work is included in the numbered archive of the artist’s work compiled by Gianni Caffiero and Ivan Samarine.

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