Picture Gallery of I.K. Aivazovsky (Feodosiya)

Picture Gallery of I.K. Aivazovsky (Картинная галерея им. И.К.Айвазовского) (Feodosiya)


Location: Feodosiya


Description of the Picture Gallery of I.K. Aivazovsky

Brig Mercury fights two Turkish ships

The Feodosia Museum named after I. K. Aivazovsky is one of the largest museums of marine painting in the world and the memorial house of the outstanding Russian artist I. K. Aivazovsky. It has more than 13 thousand exhibits related to Aivazovsky, his artistic tradition and time. Located in the city of Feodosia (Crimea). It occupies two buildings - the house of Aivazovsky with the main exposition and the main depositories of the museum (Galereinaya St., 2) and the mansion of the artist's sister E.K. Mazirova, given over to exhibition space and scientific and administrative needs (Galereynaya St., 4). It is considered one of the most popular museums in Crimea. In terms of the influx of tourists during the season, it is often compared with the Italian Uffizi Gallery.

Since March 12, 2021, it has been closed to the public due to major repairs and restoration of historical buildings. The opening is scheduled for 2022.



The birth of the gallery is associated with 1845, when his first 49 works were exhibited for public viewing in part of the large mansion rebuilt by the artist on the Feodosiya embankment. At the same time, the Aivazovsky school of painting began to operate there.

In 1880, the space of the house expanded - an additional building was added for the exhibition hall. The gallery became the first museum of one artist in the Russian Empire and the third public cultural place after the Hermitage and the Rumyantsev Museum.

After the death of Aivazovsky in 1900, the gallery, according to his will, became the property of the city.

In 1921 it was nationalized.

The gallery has a collection of about 13 thousand works of maritime subjects, including the world's largest collection of works by I. K. Aivazovsky (416 works).

The exposition of the gallery introduces the work of Ivan Aivazovsky, the history of his family, the history of the gallery itself. Valuable items of the Aivazovsky family are exhibited in the safe room.

In the neighboring building - the house of the artist's sister - paintings by Aivazovsky on mythological and biblical themes, works by foreign marine painters of the 18th-19th centuries, contemporaries of the great artist, representing the Cimmerian school of painting - M. Voloshin, L. Lagorio, K. Bogaevsky, students of Aivazovsky - M. Latri, A. Fessler, A. Kuindzhi, works of Soviet artists.

At the end of 1920, the Feodosia department of the Cheka, the naval and divisional special departments of the Red Army and the Red Navy were located in the gallery building. During their stay in the gallery building, a number of paintings were damaged.

In 1922, the premises were renovated, and on December 17, after an eight-year break, the gallery, as the State Museum of the USSR, again received visitors. The first director of the Aivazovsky Gallery was the artist and art critic Gerasim Afanasyevich Magula. He organized in Feodosia and the district the collection of art treasures left by the emigrants, and on the basis of them he organized the Museum of Art Treasures in the living rooms of the building, which lasted until 1925; visitors got acquainted with works of applied art (porcelain, silverware), antique furniture, and weapons. Already in 1923, N. S. Barsamov became the director.

In 1930, a monument to Aivazovsky by the sculptor I. Ya. Gintsburg was erected in front of the gallery with the inscription “Feodosia to Aivazovsky”.

During the fascist occupation of the Crimea, the art gallery was evacuated to Yerevan by the heroic efforts of the gallery's director, Nikolai Stepanovich Barsamov and his wife Sofya Barsamova. First, the paintings were transported from Feodosia to Novorossiysk, and from there to Krasnodar. There an order was received to bring the paintings to Stalingrad. Violating the order, Nikolai Stepanovich, having previously secured an invitation from Armenia, decides to take the paintings to Yerevan. While the paintings were in Krasnodar, an exhibition was launched there. Subsequently, exhibitions were organized in Yerevan itself. In November 1944, the art gallery was returned to Feodosia. There were no casualties during the evacuation.

S. A. Barsamova left her memories of the last days of her stay in the evacuation: “They saw us off very touchingly. The commandant of the Yerevan gallery, Pashik, invited all museum workers to send off the Barsamovs. Never before or since have we been seen off with such warmth and sincerity. Having received the wagon in which our boxes were placed, having received rations, which we then ate for a year, having received medicines in case of illness, we said goodbye to kind people, to hospitable Yerevan and set off on our way back.

During the years of fascist occupation, Aivazovsky's house was badly damaged by shells and machine-gun bursts. Since the end of 1944, repair and restoration work began in the buildings of the gallery and the surrounding area. And in May 1946 the museum welcomed visitors again.

In the post-war period, the gallery's storage was repeatedly replenished. Aivazovsky's memorial hall was opened, telling the story of his family and keeping family values. The museum was equipped with a lecture hall and conference space.

In 1980, the Feodosia Art Gallery named after I.K. Aivazovsky was awarded the Order of Friendship of Peoples.

Currently, the gallery is not only a museum, but also a scientific and educational center of the southeastern Crimea. Within its walls, international art conferences, classical music festivals, exhibitions are regularly held, a large research and publishing activity is carried out.



Currently, the gallery has collected unique works of seascape painting, graphics, archival documents and photographic documents, memorial items and objects of decorative and applied art - more than 13 thousand exhibits in total (according to the gallery's data for 2021). The basis of the collection of the main building of the gallery is paintings and drawings by I. K. Aivazovsky - 417 works (the world's largest collection of his works). The most famous among the exhibited works are “Brig Mercury attacked by two Turkish ships”, “Sevastopol raid”, “Ship “Maria” on the North Sea”, “Georgievsky Monastery”, “Sea. Koktebel”, as well as the largest painting by Aivazovsky “From Calm to Hurricane” (212 by 708 cm).

In an additional building, the mansion of the artist's sister E.K. Mazirova, paintings by Aivazovsky on mythological and biblical themes, as well as works by grandchildren, students and contemporaries of Aivazovsky - L.F. Lagorio, A.I. Fessler, M.P. Latri, A.V. Hansen, K.F. Bogaevsky, M.A. Voloshin, N.S. Barsamov, A. Kuindzhi, - as well as artists of the XX-XXI centuries.