The death of Pompeii, Aivazovsky – description of the painting

"The death of Pompeii, Aivazovsky – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

The death of Pompeii – Aivazovsky. 1889. Oil on canvas. 100 20 eight x two hundred eighteen cm
Pompeii, an old Roman city at the foot of Vesuvius, died in one terrible day and night due to a volcanic eruption. At the time of the artist’s creation of the picture, this topic was very popular, because at the place of the death of the town archaeological excavations were carried out, and from under the layers of ashes entire blocks of the settlement seemed to have stood still (the picture of another Russian artist on this subject is more famous – "Last day of Pompeii" – Bryullov).

The painter remained faithful to his own vocation – marine painter – and depicted the death of Pompeii from the sea, by which terrified inhabitants in panic tried to escape from the violence of the elements. Pompeii itself and the terrible volcano are located in the background and serve as typical scenery for events that played out on the water.

The canvas shows oar and sailing ships, crowded with fleeing people who seek to sail as quickly as possible from the shores of a blazing town. The whole picture is filled with a feeling of air full of heat due to the richness of the brightest colors with the dominance of burgundy, orange and yellowish tones. An eruption over the city illuminated it and the entire harbor with a dazzling, unnatural and very frightening light, and a feeling of excitement emanates from the canvas. But the master does not indicate doom for all the inhabitants of the town – there are many ships in the harbor and they give hope for salvation."

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