After graduating from the training course with a gold medal of the first degree, Aivazovsky got the right to travel abroad as a pensioner of the academy. And in 1840 Aivazovsky went to Italy.
The artist worked in Italy with great enthusiasm and created here about fifty large paintings. Exhibited in Naples and Rome, they caused a real stir and made the young painter famous. Critics wrote that no one had previously depicted light, air and water so vividly and reliably.
Painting “Chaos” Aivazovsky was honored to enter the permanent exhibition of the Vatican Museum. Pope Gregory XVI awarded the artist a gold medal. On this occasion, Gogol jokingly said to the artist: “Your” Chaos “has raised chaos in the Vatican.”