Ivan Aivazovsky. Mountain Village Gunib in Daghestan.
View from the East.
1869. Oil on canvas.
The Aivazovsky Art Gallery, Feodosia, Ukraine.
In the 1860s Aivazovsky visited the Caucasus. The splendour of its mountain landscapes made an indelible impression on him and he produced a whole series of pictures on Caucasian subjects. He had painted mountains before, usually with waves breaking on their gloomy cliffs, but the mountain theme appeared more and more frequently in later years. Once again the artist found romance and drama in the clash of the elements— mountain and sea. In a picture depicting the aul (Caucasian village) of Gunib (Mountain Village Gunib in Daghestan. View from the East) the imposing reddish mountains of Daghestan rise up like fantastical frozen waves. Everything conspires to give the picture a romantic quality: the darkness of the ravines, the misty background, the mounted tribesmen on the path. At the same time the picture is strictly documentary in that it records the actual contours of a real locality, and Aivazovsky underlined this by calling his canvas Mountain Village Gunib in Daghestan. View from the East.
1829.Caucasus under me. One in height
I'm actually on the snow at the edge of stremniny;
Eagle, with the distant peaks rising,
Soars still with me on equal terms.
Otsele I see streams rozhdene
And the first falls terrible traffic.
Here clouds humbly go under me;
Through them, nizvergayas, noisy waterfalls;
Under these cliffs nagie gromady;
There, below the moss barren, dry scrub;
And there are already groves, green seni,
Where poultry schebechut where skachut deer.
And there too, and people are nesting in the mountains,
And crawl sheep on zlachnym stremninam,
And the pastor down to the valleys of fun,
Where mchitsya Aragvi in shaded bregah,
And poor rider lies in the valley,
Where Terek played in fiercely fun;
Plays and howls like a young animal,
Zavidevshy food from the iron cage;
And beating on the shore of futile hostility
And lizhet cliffs of starvation wave ...
Votsche! there is no food to him, nor otrady:
Tesnyat his ominously silent gromady.