The painting is notable because the outstanding artist himself gave it to Riga City in 1886, after a first solo exhibition in Riga City Art Gallery. With a minimal range of colours, the artist has conjured up the dull lighting and low cloudy sky of a bleak day. The seascape is rendered with a vast expanse of waves and sky, the line of the horizon is blurred. The movement of the storm-tossed grey waves in the foreground have been depicted with an convincing precision, with the play of light on the moving surface of the water. The geography of this seascape is unknown, but the greyish-green hue of the water and the thick morning fog suggest that this is the Baltic Sea. Another aspect of the artist’s talent is revealed here – his skill with an almost monochrome palette of colours, achieving a generalised and harsh portrayal of a storm at sea without using any effects colour and light.


  • Title: Fog over the Sea (A Storm at Sea)
  • Creator: Ivan Aivazovsky (Ovanes Gaivazovsky, 1817–1900)
  • Date Created: 1884
  • Location Created: Russia
  • Physical Dimensions: 62.6 x 98.5 cm
  • History: Artist's gift to Riga City Art Gallery in 1886
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Latvian National Museum of Art
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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