The Power of Wind in Paintings of Aivazovsky – The Beaufort Scale

The Power of Wind in Paintings of AivazovskyThe 13-number Beaufort scale measuring the speed of wind via visual, observed effects of the wind is widely used by sailors.

Remarkably, marine artist Hovhannes Aivazian (commonly known as Ivan Aivazovsky) portrayed a variety of marine art pieces, which can perfectly demonstrate each stage of the Beaufort scale.

0, calm; average wind speed < 1 km/h; mirror-like sea. Venice, 1874.
1, light air; < 1 – 5 km/h (1 – 3 mph); no foam crests, light ripples. A sailing ship near the shores of Crimea, 1858.
2, light breeze; 6 – 11 km/h (4 – 7 mph); small, more pronounced wavelets, glassy yet not breaking crests. Calm on the sea, 1876.
3, gentle breeze; 12 – 19 km/h (8 – 12 mph); large wavelets, crests beginning to break, glassy foam, rare white horses. Inspection of the Black Sea fleet, 1849.
4, moderate breeze; 20 – 28 km/h (13 – 18 mph); longer waves, moderately frequent white horses. The brig “Mercury” attacked by two Turkish ships, 1892.
5, fresh breeze; 29 – 38 km/h (19 – 24 mph); more pronounced long form of moderate waves, many white horses, small chance of spray. Sea storm, 1880.
6, strong breeze; 39 – 49 km/h (25 – 31 mph); formation of large waves, extensive white foam crests, some spray. The ship “Twelve Apostles”, 1897.
7, high wind, moderate gale, near gale; 50 – 61 km/h (32 – 38 mph); sea heaping up, breaking waves form white foam along the direction of the wind, visible spindrift. Black Sea 120-cannon line ship “Paris”, 1854.
8, gale, fresh gale; 62 – 74 km/h (39 – 46 mph); longer, moderately high waves, crest edges break into spindrift, foam blown in visible streaks along the wind direction. The battle of the steamboat “Vesta” with the Turkish battleship “Fekhti-Bulend” in the Black Sea, 1877.
9, Strong/severe gale; 75 – 88 km/h (47 – 54 mph); high waves, dense foam streaks along the wind direction, rolling motion of the sea, spray starts to affect visibility. Night sea storm, 1849.
10, storm, whole gale; 89 – 102 km/h (55 – 63 mph); very high waves with overhanging crests, foam is blown into dense white streaks in white patches along the wind direction, white appearance of the sea surface, heavy rolling of the sea, affected visibility. Sinking ship, 1854.
11, violent storm; 103 – 117 km/h (64 – 72 mph); exceptionally high waves, long patches of foam, edges of crests are blown in foam, affected visibility. Shipwreck, 1855.
12, hurricane force; > 118 km/h (> 73 mph); air filled with foam and spray, completely white sea, severely affected visibility. Ships on the raging sea, 1866.

 


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