That cool down


Everyone who was present at the memorial table considered it his duty to say a few warm words about the life and work of Hovhannes Konstantinovich. They remembered Ivan Nikolayevich Kramskoy, who always appreciated the work of the great singer of the sea; standing at his marina, the artist-wanderer exclaimed: «This is truly the Spirit of God, hovering over the abyss.» And further: “The rhythm of the waves going one after another and the ridges of clouds with their tireless movement create an image of the elements, fraught with formidable storms.”

Some of the speakers recalled how hard Aivazovsky endured the massacre of Armenians in 1893-1896. And he quoted the lines from the letter of the great marine painter to the Catholicos of All Armenians Mkrtich Khrimyan: “The unheard-of and unprecedented massacre of the unfortunate Armenians saddened my heart with deep pain. Your Holiness is there, I am here, and we all mourn the heavy losses of the Armenian people everywhere and mourn over them. «In protest against the barbarism of the Turks, the orator said, Ivan Konstantinovich threw into the sea all the Turkish orders that he had been awarded, and declared to the Turkish consul:» Orders given to me by your bloody master, I threw into the sea. Here are their ribbons, send him. If he wants, let him also throw my paintings into the sea, I’m not sorry … «Do you understand who Ivan Konstantinovich called the bloody master? Sultana!

Aivazovsky not only morally, but also financially supported his people. To help the Armenians who escaped the massacre, he organized an exhibition in Odessa, and divided the proceeds in half between organizations that helped the Armenians and Greeks who escaped persecution. Vardan recalled how Aivazovsky sent 3,000 francs to the Russian consul in Constantinople — «to help poor Armenians.»