Born in the picturesque Crimean city of Feodosia on the shores of the Black Sea, Ivan Aivazovsky was used to making waves and to the sound of the surf. At the Academy of Arts, he did not excel in portraiture, but was enrolled in landscape class and landscapes.
The sea took all his imagination, and he managed to portray the element amazingly and quickly. In those days, photography was a rarity and expensive pleasure, so the painters probably portrayed the natural properties of nature.
Artists were in demand in any department, especially in the military. The paintings written by Aivazovsky were equal in status to important documents. The artist had a phenomenal photographic memory, and many of the paintings he wrote in imagination and memory.
One of the variants of the Darial Gorge in this context was written in 1868 and is made in oil. The canvas depicts the gorge of the Caucasus Mountains at the intersection of Georgia and Russia on the Terek River, where the main character of the plot is a bright moon.
The tops of Kazbek rise above the river bed for 3 kilometers, and at the bottom there is an important junction where the military road runs and it has the ancient geographical name “Gateway of the Caucasus”.
The majestic landscape captures the wonder of the mountains with sheer cliffs and the solitude of the moon, illuminating the terrible twilight of the night. He managed to see an important border between the states during his military campaign to the shores of the Caucasus. The mountain landscape is filled with sadness and detachment, it looks monumental and unique.
For his life, Ivan Aivazovsky wrote 6,000 landscapes, and spent the money from the proceeds of paintings for charity. Currently, the “Daryal Gorge” canvas is kept in Yerevan, in the National Gallery.