The present lot depicts the birth of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty. According to Greek mythology, she was born from the churning sea-foam (aphros in Greek), and became the lover of Poseidon, the subject of Aivazovsky's 1894 masterpiece Poseidon's Travel over the Sea (fig. 1). The drama unfolding in the present work is heightened by a very limited colour palette and a dramatic use of moonlight on the water. Different shades and intensities of blue contrast sharply with the bright moonlight, illuminating the figure of Aphrodite as she is drawn up by winged cupids.
The present work is included in the numbered archive of the artist's work compiled by Gianni Caffiero and Ivan Samarine.
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