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How a boy from a poor Armenian family Hovhannes Gayvazyan gifted a painting to the Pope and became a great artist

Russian artist of Armenian descent. He was close to the emperor, had friendly relations with Pushkin, but did not read his works. I have never read a single book in my entire life. I thought that it was unnecessary, because everything has its own opinion. So how did a poorly educated person turn into the greatest asset of Russian and world culture? Ivan Aivazovsky is a great artist, philanthropist, and collector.

Hovhannes Gayvozyan (Gayvozovsky) was born in Feodosia on July 29, 1817 in a very poor family. Parents had to give his older brother to raise a wealthy family. The boy was afraid that he would face the same fate and tried to find a job. His family dreamed that his son would grow up a musician. He played the old violin in the streets, ran around with errands and clutched at any business, just to get at least a penny.

But not the music attracted the boy. He was very fond of drawing and drawing lines on the ground, rocks, walls of houses. Once, after such an occupation, he was noticed by the chief architect of the city, reported to the leadership. And soon Hovhannes was brought up by the mayor. Fears of the young man turned into a fabulous luck. A wealthy family hired him with painting teachers, and so began the path of the artist. Foster parents affectionately called the child – Vanechka. Later, the emperor will notice him and send him to Europe to study at public expense.

The princes and sultans acquired his brush samples. And he was not even Aivazovsky. The change of surname is associated with an interesting case. Catholic priests decided to accuse Aivazovsky of erisi for the painting “Chaos. World creation”. This would mean the death of the artist’s reputation. But the Pope wanted to see the picture, but when he saw it, he wanted to buy it. The resourceful artist presented the priest with his work, signing “Aivazovsky” in the corner.

Ivan Aivazovsky was a controversial person. They say that for many years and even in adulthood he did not leave the fear of becoming poor again. The memory of the misery he faced as a child did not leave him. And this is evidenced by his first marriage.

In 1848, Ivan Aivazovsky was already recognized and rich and chose English governess Julia Grevs as his wife. She counted on a luxurious social life, and instead turned out to be a recluse in the Crimea. The husband was very stingy. Never allowed excesses. Eyewitnesses to their family life said that dessert (whipped cream) was served only once a week. Needless to say, the hopes of the young woman did not materialize. She decided to leave her husband, the divorce process lasted 7 years.

In 1864, for public services and achievements in art, Emperor Alexander II granted Aivazovsky a hereditary noble title. Being in a new status, Ivan Aivazovsky will meet a new lover.

The second wife of the artist was a young widow of Armenian descent Anna Sarkisova. This alliance turned out to be lasting and happy. The difference in the age of the spouses was 40 years. The young wife cheated on Aivazovsky. He stopped fearing poverty. On the contrary, I felt able to fight her. In Feodosia, every poor girl on marriageable age received a rich dowry from a marine painter. He transferred huge amounts to charity. Participated in public life. Thanks to him, clean water became available to all residents in the arid city.

Ivan Aivazovsky had a phenomenal visual memory and wrote a lot. During his life he created 6 thousand paintings. Only one is left unfinished. The reason is the death of the artist. He died in a dream of a heart attack at the age of 82. The following is carved on the tombstone of the artist: “Born to mortals, he left an immortal memory on his own.”

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