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The famous Russian marine painter I. Aivazovsky wrote all the states of the sea: from the serene calm to the ninth rampart. The fighting excitement on the water also did not escape the attention of a great artist. He devoted a number of paintings to the description of the battles during the Crimean War.
At the end of 1853, the artist performed two canvases about the Sinop battle, which happened in the same year, in November. Russia was declared a war by the Turkish state. Russian warships headed over the Black Sea to enemy lands and scouted for the Turkish fleet at Sinop Bay. The Black Sea Fleet approached the nearest distance and began the battle. The result of a four-hour battle was the complete defeat of the Turks. Under the command of Nakhimov, all Turkish ships were destroyed except the only one. The Russian side remained without loss of the fleet. The outcome of the battle exalted the morale of the victors, giving confidence in future achievements.
Aivazovsky on the first canvas captures the very beginning of the battle: morning, slightly surging waves, the sky is gray with clouds, white clouds of cannon smoke stand out on it. Sailing ships with red flags and blue and white on the other side are safe and sound. The second picture shows us the results of a sea skirmish: as if Nakhimov’s ships were standing in an indestructible rock, and from the enemies there were only dying vessels that cast fire reflections in the sea mirror. All space is filled with fiery color against the black of night; chips fly apart, and the water has become calmer.
The painter began work on the “Sinop battle” only after long conversations with its participants: all the details about the weather and actions became known. Therefore, the result of the work delighted Admiral Nakhimov, the rest of the sailors and still surprises people and makes them imbued with a fighting atmosphere and a triumphant spirit.
The painting is now in St. Petersburg in the gallery of the Naval Museum.