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Feodosia - a beautiful city of the Crimean coast! On the shore of the Black Sea, outside the city limits in 1850, the great artist of the nineteenth century I. Aivazovsky, according to his design, built a large exhibition hall, which was adjacent to his house. To decorate the house, marble and ceramic sculptures were specially brought from Italy, which were installed around the facade of the building, which was of impressive size. For the ceremonial reception of numerous guests, the ceremonial hotels were decorated with an impressive interior. On the artist’s birthday - July 29, 1880, the opening of a personal art gallery, which at that time was the only one not only in Feodosia, but also in Russia.
In the ninetieth year, exactly ten years after the opening of the gallery, the artist made a reconstruction of the halls, redid the roof, replacing it with a large glass dome. With the help of such lighting, the paintings in the museum’s exhibition hall acquired completely different colors.
During his life, Aivazovsky arranged numerous exhibitions of his paintings, not only in Russia, but also abroad. At exhibitions, paintings were often sold. Therefore, there was no constancy in the museum’s expositions, they had to be constantly supplemented with new paintings, since the artist did not know tired and constantly wrote more and more masterpieces. Such an abundance of new paintings delighted connoisseurs of painting: they visited the gallery all over again.
The most crowded time of visits fell on the "velvet season" (summer and autumn), when the rich elite of the Russian Empire came to Feodosia. The artist himself often went down to talk with guests from the workshop, which led to an indescribable delight for a large audience. Sometimes he, in the presence of visitors, even painted.
Such a revival lasted until 1900, after the death of Aivazovsky, life in his gallery gradually began to freeze. All the canvases and the gallery itself, according to the will of the master, passed into the ownership of the city of Feodosia. By order of the City Council, supervisors were appointed to the gallery, but no one could replace the great artist. At the beginning of World War I, the paintings had to be taken to Simferopol, where they stayed until 1920. At this time, all the paintings were nationalized by the Soviet government, and in 1922 the gallery received the status of a state museum, and in 2001 - the National.
One of the halls of the Aivazovsky art gallery
Today, beautiful halls and decoration on the walls and ceilings are restored to their original appearance. The gallery itself is a unique complex, which is a work of painting and objects of decorative art. The gallery has over 12 thousand different memorial items, archival documents, exhibits, among which 417 works by the great artist Aivazovsky.
To date, two buildings are occupied under the museum’s exposition: the artist’s house and his sister’s house. In addition to the picture gallery, in the sister’s house, visitors can see the works of contemporary artists: Voloshin, Lagorio, Bogaevsky, Kuindzhi and other Soviet masters.