The painting “Walking in the waters”, Aivazovsky – overview

The painting “Walking in the waters”, Aivazovsky – overview
The painting "Walking in the waters", Aivazovsky - overview - 1

  • Posted by Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky
  • Museum: State Museum of the History of Religion, St. Petersburg
  • Year: 1888

Overview of the painting :

Walking in waters – Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky. Paper oil. 70 x 50 cm
   The picture is based on a biblical plot, very popular among artists of different eras. During the storm, the apostles sailed on a boat, and Christ walked towards them right along the stormy waves. Only the apostle Peter dared to meet Christ and set foot on the moving abyss, as a firm land. Only faith kept him on the water, as it was worth Peter to look away as he began to sink.

   The picture reflects just the moment when Peter, pulling his hands out, strives with all his might for the Savior, believing in his omnipotence. Christ is depicted shining as the brightest light. The glow coming from him simply blinds and leaves the path on the sea, as from the light of the full moon. For those sitting in a boat, the figure of Christ is a guiding beacon of faith in the darkness of unbelief.

   The master image of the waves creates the effect of the presence of the viewer, since it very naturalistically transfers the movement of turbulent water into the sea. The center of the composition is, of course, the figure of Christ shining and illuminating everything around, and the boat with people and the apostle Peter running along the waves are statists in this key stage from the Bible.

   The faces of people and their clothes are not accentuated, they are made rather schematically, with dark colors, specifically so that the attention of the beholder does not switch, but is concentrated on the central figure of Jesus walking in the waters.