One of my favorite Russian artists is Ivan Aivazovsky. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to see it in St.Petersburg, and I put one interpretation (from a character’s point of view) of this painting in my novel “Struggling to Survive” (below).
What do you see in it: struggle? hope? despair? something else?
“The painting showed a small group of people struggling to survive amidst a storm, hanging on to the remnants of their mostly destroyed ship. The waves around them were still strong, but the rising sun cast warm light on the sea and the people, a symbol of hope that survival was possible even after a big storm. Many art critics said that Aivazovsky meant this painting as a reminder for the people to be humble, as there are forces in nature that are much stronger than people. Victor interpreted it differently: no matter what life throws your way, you need to fight for survival. To him, the painting had an uplifting message, as survival was one of the strongest human instincts.” (From “Struggling to Survive” by Julia Gousseva)
Photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ninth_Wave