Paintings of a world long gone inspire a story of survival, love, and the price of courage.

Aegean is a young adult science fiction novel inspired and illustrated by the paintings of Ivan Aivazovsky. The manuscript is currently seeking representation from a literary agent.

The story and some of the paintings that inspired it are in the trailer below.

Click here for the names of the paintings in the trailer.

My writing was inspired by Aivazovsky’s paintings because of the artist’s ability to capture the romance of a past world: the culture and people in the lands surrounding the Aegean Sea, Istanbul, and the Caucasus Mountains in the period 1840 to 1860. For me, the paintings evoked a world that cried out for a sweeping story of survival, love, and the price of courage. It has taken many years to write and re-write and two rounds of professional editing to bring the manuscript to a level where it is ready to submit. I had no choice; I had to write Aegean given the emotions I felt when looking at the paintings.

About the artist. Ivan Aivazovsky was born in 1817 in the port of Feodosia on the Black Sea. He became one of the greatest Russian romantic painters. Before his death in 1900, he produced over 6,000 paintings. He achieved fame in his lifetime and the playwright, Anton Chekhov, popularized the saying, “worthy of Aivazovsky’s brush”, to describe something beautiful.

Today his paintings sell for millions at auction, hang in major Russian and European museums, and are honored on Russian and Armenian postage stamps here and here. You can see a computer-graphics-generated tribute to the painter on the 200th anniversary of his birth here.

The computer-graphics tribute to the artist reflects his importance to today’s digital artists. Contemporary computer graphics artists use Aivazovsky’s paintings as a standard for rendering realistic computer graphics of waves and the sea. If you like video games and/or CGI-enhanced movies, you may have seen something influenced by Aivazovsky’s genius.

Trailer and text © 2017 – 2021 by Ted Macaluso.