Aivazovsky is an artist, who valued and loved the sea more than anything else, his singer, in whose paintings he always acts as the main character. Even if people suddenly happen on them – after all, people sometimes swim in the sea – it is still the main thing, the all-consuming element, always remaining more than any other person.
“Storm” is a hymn to this particular side of the sea. His all-consuming power, sweeping, destroying and at the same time indifferent. A man kills a man because he hates him. The sea kills a man because it does not notice him, just turning slightly on his sandy bed.
The ship on the horizon looms an obscure shadow. He looks more like a ghost from a tree. The sails are torn off, the mast has probably collapsed – the waves carry it directly onto the rocks, and without pity are going to break it with a hell of crackling and rattle.
A boat dangles in the foreground. The sailors’ faces are not visible, but despair is surely on them – they are rowing from the rocks, with all their might, but they cannot fight the sea. Soon they, too, will be thrown at a stone, where he will die – whether from a blow, or from a fracture.
At the same time the sea remains beautiful. Delightful. Charming. Like a wild predatory animal, it fascinates, its waves are similar in color to the sky, fight in a cage of shores, roar, devouring itself. A bright spot caught by the light from a sudden hole in the clouds seems to be a saving island of silence. Subconsciously, it seems that if the sailors manage to swim in it, the storm will suddenly stop and they will be able to safely swim to the shore and land on it.
However, this is just an illusion, a visual illusion. No matter how attractive the sea is, it will not spare anyone who accidentally came to him in the moments of his anger.
This mixture, admiration and horror, Aivazovsky conveyed very accurately. Looking at Storm is like talking about death. Cold in the stomach.