OIL PAINTING: Amidst the Waves, 1898
In the canvases depicting storms (which constitute more that half of Aivazovsky's legacy) man's solidarity to man is apparent in the struggle against the elements. Man does not give up; he triumphs. This is the expression of the popular trait of extreme optimism and resistance. The irony in Aivazovsky's romanticism is the faith that man (this tiny creature of the Universe) has in life and Nature. In the politically turbulent 19th century, it is this same unshakable faith that the Armenian people had in their struggle for self-determination -''Amidst the Waves''.