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Once upon a time there was a beautiful settlement - Pompeii - which was destined to one day disappear from the face of the earth, to be buried under the ashes of Vesuvius. We are familiar with this story mainly due to its picturesque embodiment on the canvases of Karl Bryullov.
The artist portrayed people locked up in the city, who strive to save themselves at all costs. And in order to convey the horror and confusion of the inhabitants of Pompeii, Bryullov pays special attention to the drawing of their faces.
However, few people know that not only he, but also Aivazovsky addressed the topic of the death of Pompeii. In 1889, he wrote a painting with almost the same name - “The Death of Pompeii”. Apparently, this decision could not do without the influence of Bryullov, to whom the artist had friendly feelings.
At the same time, Aivazovsky cannot be blamed for blind imitation of the model: being a marinarian by nature, he focuses his attention on the sea in this painting, thematically very uncharacteristic for him. It is written in piercing scarlet, brown-yellow tones, which, according to the plan of the master, should symbolize all human lives lost under the lava.
Such a palette very successfully reflects the main mood of the picture - boundless horror. At the same time, Aivazovsky, as often happens, leaves his characters hope for salvation.
In The Death of Pompeii, this is manifested in the image of the ships departing from the place of the terrible death. If you look closely, on the canvas you can see the culprit of all ills - the volcano Vesuvius, spewing lava flows into beautiful antique houses. The artist significantly enhances the effect of presence by scattering black dots of ash in the picture, which settles into the water.
The painting is kept in the Rostov Regional Museum of Fine Arts. If possible, you can always visit it in order to see firsthand the “Death of Pompeii” and some other masterpieces of Aivazovsky.
Watte the Capricious