NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

"Metaphysics of Light", an exhibition dedicated to the oeuvre of the outstanding Armenian origin Russian art school painter Ivan Aivazovsky will be on view at the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE in Riga.

Ivan Aivazovsky (Иван Константинович Айвазовский / Ованнес Айвазян, 1817–1900) is a world-renowned sea landscape master, who already during his lifetime was admired by contemporaries. The popularity of the artist has not decreased until nowadays: there are numerous exhibitions and publications, as well as his artworks are highly praised at the international art auctions.


Exhibition shows master’s works from different periods, where light and illumination are the main elements of the composition. Paintings from Latvian, Estonian, Ukrainian museum collections combine works with one theme – variations of lighting. Aivazovsky’s skill to depict on canvas such elusive things as water and light shows author’s in-depth interest in the research of natural phenomenon, his remarkable memory and perfected painting technique. Artist used a complex glaze technique and special brushwork to achieve the presence of light and transparency of water. Sunrise, sunset, when the sun is at its zenith, diffused light of an afternoon, moonlight – these varied metamorphosis of light fill Aivazovsky’s paintings with particular colouristic refinement and nuances of emotional atmosphere. Light which radiates in sea or glitters through waves is one of the most characteristic features of Aivazovsky’s painting and it is visible throughout the artist’s work.


There are 23 works in various genres at the exhibition: marines, historical compositions and landscapes. Together with the artist’s canvases from the Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMA), paintings from the collections of the Ukrainian and Estonian museums, as well as from private collection are on display for the first time. Exposition includes outstanding works such as Sea Landscape (Evening) (1855, LNMA), View of Mount Vesuvius Before the Eruption (1885, Art Museum of Estonia), A.S. Pushkin on the Black Sea Coast (1897, Odessa Fine Arts Museum), and others. Among them visitors will also see the landscape Fog on the Sea (1884, LNMA), which author gifted to Riga after his solo exhibition in 1886. The display is supplemented with 5 ship models from the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation.

Gallery name: RIGA BOURSE

Address: Doma laukums 6, Riga

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10:00 - 18:00

Open: 05.10.2019 - 05.01.2020