Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900): American Shipping off the Rock1/7/2021, 8:50:16 AM
Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900): American Shipping off the Rock of Gibraltar (detail), 1873, oil on canvas, 131 x 109 cm, Private collection . . Aivazovsky's technique and imagination in depicting the shimmering play of light on the waves and seafoam is especially admired, and gives his seascapes a romantic yet realistic quality that echoes the work of English watercolorist J. M. W. Turner. Especially effective is his ability to depict diffuse sunlight and moonlight, sometimes coming from behind clouds, or through a fog, with almost transparent layers of paint. 'American Shipping off the Rock of Gibraltar' from a later period is an amazingly atmospheric painting in which a particularly well drawn Rock of Gibraltar form the perfect back drop to the main theme. In 2007, the painting auctioned at £2.71 million, "more than four times its top estimate". It was, "the highest price paid at auction for Aivazovsky" at the time.