The death of Pompeii - Aivazovsky. 128 x 218 cm
Pompeii, an ancient Roman city at the foot of Vesuvius, died in one terrible day and night due to a volcanic eruption. During the artist’s creation of the picture, this topic was very popular, because archaeological excavations were carried out at the place of the city’s death, and whole blocks seemed to appear from under the ashes of a settlement frozen in time (the picture of another Russian artist on this subject - The Last Day of Pompeii - Bryullov is better known )
The artist remained faithful to his vocation - marine painter - and depicted the death of Pompeii from the sea, by which terrified residents in panic tried to escape from the violence of the elements. Pompeii itself and the monstrous volcano are located in the background and serve as original scenery for the events that played out on the water.
The canvas shows oar and sailing ships, crowded with rescuing people who seek to sail as soon as possible from the shores of a blazing city. The whole picture is filled with a sensation of air full of heat due to the abundance of bright colors with a predominance of red, orange and yellow tones. The eruption over the city illuminated it and the entire harbor with a dazzling unnatural and very frightening light, due to which a feeling of anxiety emanates from the canvas. But the master does not show doom for all residents of the city - there are many ships in the harbor and they give hope for salvation.