The Ninth Wave

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This article is about the 1850 Aivazovsky painting. For the Kate Bush album, see Hounds of Love. For the song by Sadist, see Tribe (Sadist album).
The Ninth Wave
Hovhannes Aivazovsky - The Ninth Wave - Google Art Project.jpg
Artist Ivan Aivazovsky
Year 1850
Type Oil-on-canvas
Dimensions 221 cm × 332 cm (87 in × 131 in)
Location State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

The Ninth Wave (Russian: Девятый вал) is the best known painting by Russian Armenian marine painter Ivan Aivazovsky; it was painted in 1850.[1][2]

The painting[edit]

It depicts a sea after a night storm and people facing death attempting to save themselves by clinging to debris from a wrecked ship.

The painting has warm tones in which the sea appears to be not so menacing and giving a chance for the people to survive.

This painting is often called "the most beautiful painting in Russia".[3]

Origin of the name[edit]

Both English and Russian titles refer to the nautical tradition that waves grow larger and larger in a series up to the largest wave, the ninth (or tenth) wave, at which point the series starts again.[4]

Where displayed[edit]

It is displayed in the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg [1].


  1. ^ "The Ninth Wave". Hermitage Museum. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Aivazovsky, I. K. The Ninth Wave. 1850". Auburn University. Retrieved 10 December 2013. "Detail from "The Ninth Wave" "The Ninth Wave," painted in 1850, is Aivazovsky's most famous work and is an archetypal image for the artist." 
  3. ^ Ivan Aivazovsky: "The Ninth Wave" at
  4. ^ Ninth Wave Theory at