Lot 101
  • 101

Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky

60,000 - 80,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Street in Bakhchisarai
  • signed in Latin and Cyrillic and dated 1892 l.r.; the reverse with a US Customs label of the 1890s
  • oil on canvas
  • 24 by 38cm, 9 1/2 by 15in.


Chicago, The World's Columbian Exposition, 1892-1893


Listed in a letter from the artist to Count Ivan Ivanovich Tolstoy, Feodosia, 10 June 1892

Catalogue Note

In 1892, Aivazovsky undertook his last great journey; a voyage by sea to America. His intention was to visit the World's Fair in Chicago, where he himself was exhibiting twenty pictures. As it turned out, he travelled to New York, Washington and the Niagara Falls but after two months cut short his visit and returned to Russia. The twenty pictures he sent to Chicago were listed in a letter to Count Ivan Ivanovich Tolstoy; the first five of these were part of his Christopher Columbus cycle, the other 15 were a cross section of his usual subjects and included views of Naples, Venice, Athens and Constantinople. Number 12 is the offered painting, Street in Bakhchisarai. The picture was purchased in America and has been in a private collection ever since, and is here published for the first time.

Bakhchisarai was the capital of the Crimean Khanate and the centre of political and cultural life of the Crimean Tartars. Like all Crimean towns, the population of Bakhchisarai in the 19thcentury was ethnically very diverse and would have included communities of Armenians, Russians and Greeks as well as Tartars. Aivazovsky depicts three Armenian girls in resplendent national costume emerging from a sunlit garden. One of them gives charity to a blind beggar in a white turban who is being looked after by a small child. Tartar dignitaries look on from the wooden balconies of the palace, and against the background of the rocky cliffs that surround the town is depicted a white minaret.  

The present work is included in the numbered archive of the artist’s work compiled by Gianni Caffiero and Ivan Samarine.