Book look: painter of the sea

aiwasowksiIvan Aivazovsky’s oeuvre has been ignored by the Western World for a long time. Outside Russia, the painter’s works have rarely been known, let alone exhibited. A few years ago, a superb exhibition dedicated to the painter of the sea was organised by the Bank Austria Kunstforum in Vienna to unanimous acclaim. Aivazovsky’s paintings, most of them large-scale oil on canvas works, were brilliantly arranged in the gallery’s different showrooms. Special lightning arrangements helped his colourful compositions to shine.

Those who missed the excellent exhibit can still find out more thanks to the exhibition catalogue published by Hatje Cantz. The book not only includes almost 100 paintings of the Crimea-born artist. It also features analytic texts by Hartmut Böhme, Florian Steininger and others. Nothing can beat looking at Aivazovsky’s paintings in a gallery. However, “Aiwasowski. Maler des Meeres” offers great opportunities to discover his powerful paintings: people suffering shipwreck, maritime battles and paintings of Constantinople and other ports, but also several self-portraits. One of Aivazovsky’s greatest strengths was his ability to underline the power of nature. His best paintings show ships battling against reckless storms and gigantic waves.

albertinaAnother remarkable Hatje Cantz release documents the collection of the Viennese Albertina gallery (“Die Albertina. Geburt einer Weltsammlung”, The Albertina. Birth of a world-class collection). The book was published recently as the institution located in the heart of the Austrian capital was the location of an exhibition including the most important objects of the collection. The Hatje Cantz book offers interesting insight on life in feudal Europe in the old days. It includes additional information to exhibit subjects such as drawings by Albrecht Dürer and other great masters.

Aiwasowski. Maler des Meeres
By Ingried Brugger and Lisa Kreil
Published by Hatje Cantz (

Die Albertina. Geburt einer Weltsammlung
By Klaus Albrecht Schröder and Christian Benedik
Published by Hatje Cantz (

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