March 23rd, 2012

nighthawks

Aivazovsky's The Wave

During the 1996 Olympics here in Atlanta, there was this exhibit at the High Museum called RINGS: FIVE PASSIONS IN WORLD ART, with artwork from different countries. One of them was an 1889 painting by Aivazovsky (wikipedia), titled The Wave.

From wikipaintings.org, highest resolution here.

It's in the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.

Unfortunately, even at the highest resolution, you can't see the level of detail. But here's a YouTube video of it. The painting is huge, maybe 12 feet across. When you looked really closely at the painting, there was a Where's Waldo effect --- you could see that, in the water to the upper right of the lifeboat, there's a bull, swept overboard from the sinking ship, and already slightly underwater. Basically, the folks in the lifeboat are having a bad day, but that bull is having a really bad day.