This wonderful card was sent to me by Mikhail Timona from the Republic of Mordovia.
Brig "Mercury" Attacked by Two Turkish Ships is an 1892 oil on canvas painting by Russian painter Ivan Aivazovsky (1817–1900). Aivazovsky painted over 6,000 works, more than half of which are seascapes.
It depicts three ships in close combat on a rough sea; as the name suggests, the battle occurs between two Turkish warships, and another ship referred to in the painting's title as the Russian brig Mercury. While Aivazovsky painted many seascapes, often involving ships and boats of various descriptions, and many showing ships that were damaged or shipwrecked, few of his works featured ships in close naval combat.
The battle portrayed was part of the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-29, a war sparked by the Greeks' struggle for independence and ensuing events. The Turkish Sultan became hostile to the Russians due their participation in the Battle of Navarino and, as a result, proceeded to close the Dardanelles for Russian ships and revoked the 1826 Convention of Akkerman.
After the conflict had ended, one of the navigators of the Turkish ships made a comment commending theMercury for her seaworthiness, and the captain for his bravery:
If in the great deeds of ancient or our times there are the feats of bravery, so this act put the others in the shade and the name of a hero should be wrote by the gold letter in the shrine of glory: the captain wasKazarsky, and the name of this brig was “Mercury”