OIL PAINTING: The Great Roads, 1836
Aivazovsky's paintings... reveal without a doubt that his talent will take him far. Study of nature will open up to him further treasures, whose existence his talent scarcely suspects at present..." Thus wrote The Art Gazette, noting the artist's "inherent poetic gift". One of Aivazovsky's early canvases, The Great Roads. Kronstadt, is reproduced here. Although the foreground of the painting with its naively drawn human figures recalls the old Dutch masters, the perspective has breadth and depth, with spray-soaked clouds receding into the distance. The waves seem fixed and motion less, but nevertheless Aivazovsky has somehow captured the specific character of the cold Baltic Sea.