OIL PAINTING: The Battle in the Straits of Chios, 1848
While still a student, Aivazovsky had been attracted by the romance of sea battles and the proud beauty of sailing ships. His work in Sauerweid's class and participation in the exercises of the Baltic Sea fleet had encouraged him still further. In the Crimea Aivazovsky now had the chance to return to his favourite themes. The commander of the Caucasus Coast Line, N. Rayevsky suggested to Aivazovsky that he take part in the exercises of the Black Sea fleet. During 1839 Aivazovsky went to sea three times, painted a great deal from nature, and made the acquaintance of admirals M. Lazarev, V. Kornilov and P. Nakhimov. The Russian navy welcomed him with open arms and thereafter was to treat both artist and man with the greatest respect.