We are a small Episcopal Church on the banks of the Rappahannock in Port Royal, Virginia. We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Port Royal, the Nandtaughtacund, who are still here, and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

Ivan Aivazovsky, Russian landscape painter

The image for our Gospel reading, "Jesus Walking on the Water", was done by the Russian painter Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900).

When I was in the Soviet Union over 35 years ago, his paintings were prevalent and stood out and I remembered his name. They reminded me of the American school of landscape painters, such as Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Church but in this case on the sea.

He is considered one of the greatest marine artists in history and born into an Armenian family in the Black Sea port of Feodosia and was mostly based in his native Crimea.

Following his education at the Imperial Academy of Arts, Aivazovsky traveled to Europe and lived briefly in Italy in the early 1840s. He then returned to Russia and was appointed the main painter of the Russian Navy. Aivazovsky had close ties with the military and political elite of the Russian Empire and often attended military maneuvers. He was sponsored by the imperial family and was well-regarded during his lifetime. The winged word "worthy of Aivazovsky’s brush", popularized by Anton Chekhov, was used in Russia for "describing something ineffably lovely."]

One of the most prominent Russian artists of his time, Aivazovsky was also popular outside Russia. He held numerous solo exhibitions in Europe and the United States. During his almost sixty-year career, he created around 6,000 paintings, making him one of the most prolific artists of his time. The vast majority of his works are seascapes, but he often depicted battle scenes, Armenian themes, and portraiture.

"Ninth Wave" -Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900)

Here is a selection of his works