Unseen masterworks to lead one of Sotheby's strongest offerings during Russian Art Week
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Unseen masterworks to lead one of Sotheby's strongest offerings during Russian Art Week
Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, Bathing Boys (1921) oil on canvas est. £600,000-800,000. Photo: Sotheby's.



LONDON.- This November, Sotheby’s London will present one of its strongest offerings of Russian paintings in recent years. Led by Konstantin Makovsky’s final masterpiece, last publicly exhibited over 80 years ago, the sales will comprise a series of little-seen, rare works by giants of Russian Art: Boris Kustodiev, Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, Ivan Aivazovsky and Alexander Deineka. The paintings will be unveiled for the first time in London on Friday 21st November, ahead of the Evening Sale of Important Russian Art on 24th November 2014.

Further highlights of the season include Soviet artworks from the collection of the Union of Artists, led by Georgy Nissky’s superb Soviet landscape En Route. The sale comes in the wake of the record-breaking sale of another work from the collection of the Union of Artists at Sotheby’s in June, Nissky’s Over the Snowy Fields, which established a new auction record for any post-war Soviet work of art (£1,762,500).

Alongside these traditional auctions of Russian art, Sotheby’s is also delighted to announce the second instalment of ‘Contemporary East’, a sale dedicated to showcasing ground-breaking contemporary art from Russia, Ukraine, the Caucasus and the Baltics, often underrepresented on the international market.

The auctions follow hot on the heels of Sotheby’s sales of Russian paintings in June 2014 which realised the highest total in this category for six years - £21.4 million.

SOTHEBY’S RUSSIAN ART CALENDAR OF SALES - LONDON 2014

• Important Russian Art - 24th November [37 lots, est. £12.3-18.3m]

• Russian Paintings - 25th November [118 lots, est. £3.1 – 4.3m]

• Contemporary East - 25th November [69 lots, est. £1.2- 1.7m]

• Russian Works of Art, Fabergé and Icons - 25th November [125 lots, est. £1.7- 2.4m]

“IMPORTANT RUSSIAN ART” AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS

Konstantin Makovsky, Ivan Susanin (1914) Oil on canvas, est. £1,500,000-2,500,000

Makovsky’s last great masterpiece: a monumental six-metre canvas celebrating the life of Russia’s legendary hero Ivan Susanin. Last exhibited publicly in 1926, the painting was recently rediscovered in the home of an American private collector who acquired the work at Sotheby’s New York in 1976 for $4,800.

Ivan Aivazovsky, Venice (1882) Oil on canvas, est. £600,000-800,000

Ivan Aivazovsky, Moonrise over Ayu Dag (1856) Oil on canvas, est. £800,000-1,200,000

Boris Kustodiev, Bakhchisarai (1917) oil on canvas, est. £1,200,000-1,800,000
Without doubt the most impressive and exciting pre-revolutionary painting by Kustodiev to come to light in recent memory. Last exhibited over 50 years ago, Bakhchisarai has remained in the same family for three generations.

Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, Bathing Boys (1921) oil on canvas est. £600,000-800,000
The most important painting by the artist ever to appear at auction, Bathing Boys comes from the artist’s celebrated ‘Samarkand series’, painted during the summer of 1921 in Uzbekistan and regarded by many as the acme of his artistic career.

Alexander Yakovlev, A Group of 97 Sketchbooks and Journals Est. £250,000-350,000
The most complete representation of the artist’s work ever to appear for sale, this group demonstrates the evolution of the artist’s style and technique as he travelled to the Far East, across Europe, Africa and Asia. Following the artist’s death, the sketchbooks were left to his sister, Sandra, a highly acclaimed opera star in Paris. They were purchased from her by the present owner in the 1970s.

Georgy Nissky, En Route Oil on canvas, est. £500,000-700,000
From the collection of the Union of Artists, this superb large-scale painting begun in the late 1950s was published at least twice during the artist’s lifetime. Few Soviet landscapes can compare in terms of provenance, quality or size.

Alexander Deineka Evening at the Kolkhoz (Tea on the Terrace) Oil on canvas (1949), est. £1,000,000-1,500,000
Painted during a period of intense collectivisation, this work presents the Soviet ‘brigade’ at rest. Athletic, healthy and rosy- cheeked, this group is the product of a perfectly functioning state.










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