The collection of Aivazovsky in National Gallery, which is considered the second one after Theodosius, was created and replenished thanks to donations.
The first 7 paintings were brought from Moscow’s Lazarian institute, which personally was dedicated by the sea painter to the institution. In 1925, Hakob Ekizlian donated four paintings by Aivazovsky to the gallery.
“Recreation, The Mediterranean coast” picture was donated by Vahan Khorasanjian. It was brought from Belgium to Yerevan through the Armenian Relief Committee in 1936. The largest canvas is in the collection of the National Gallery.
Inspired by the image of a famous traveler, Aivazovski visited his native town Geneva in 1879. During his American trip, Aivazovsky created several works dedicated to Christopher Columbus.
“Columbus” high-value canvas, Abraham Jinjyan preferred to send it to the gallery rather than to dedicate his son or sell like other ten works of Aivazovsky.
In 1957, the Armenian gallery was enriched with 41 artworks made by Aivazovsky, including 30 paintings and 9 graphics, which were presented by Abraham Jinjyan, a French entrepreneur of Armenian.
“Storm on the steep coast” picture was gift was donated to the Armenian Cultural Relations Company by the French Youth Union. It was abducted in 1990. This canvas was considered “lost” 21 years in the catalogs, whereas in 1996, it was examined by Vladimir Petrov, an expert in Tretyakov’s State Gallery, and was sold at Moscow’s Gelos auction, where it was found and returned to the National Gallery.
In 1996, “Sea in the Moonlight” painting was discovered in one of the Moscow auctions and returned the National Gallery. However, a huge “Ecstasy”canvas was disappeared years ago from the scientific library of the National Library of Armenia, 5 pieces from the branch of Etchmiadzin of the National Gallery that were donated by Abraham Jinjyan were also disappeared.
In 1889, Aivazovsky donated his “Noah goes down from Ararat” to the Armenian male gymnasium in Nor Nakhijevan. During the civil war, the door was covered through the canvas. The painting has been rescued and brought to the newly-opened Martiros Saryan’s State Museum of Armenia.
Sea painter of headquarters of the Russian Navy did not forget his origins. He was the first Armenian painter that portrayed Ararat and Lake Sevan, painted “Byron’s visit to the Mkhitaryan’s St. Lazarus Island” and the portrait of Khrimian Hayrik, Catholicos of All Armenians.
Hovhannes Aivazovsky was born in the family of Armenian small-scale merchant Gevorg Ayvazi, who migrated from Moldova. In the birthday and baptism book of the Armenian Church of Theodosius, the birth of Aivazovsky is registered as Gevorg Ayvazyan’s son Hovhannes.
“Lady luck was on my side,” said the painter, whose name is known even by people far from art.