The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sotheby's Spring Sale of Russian Art in New York will be Held on April 22
Nicholas Roerich, St. Mercurius of Smolensk. Estimate: $500/700,000. Photo: Courtesy of Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s spring sale of Russian Art in New York will take place on April 22, 2009, and include a wide variety of modern and contemporary Russian painting and Works of Art featuring an exceptional selection of Icons and decorative items with Imperial lineage. The pre-sale exhibition will open to the public on April 17.

19th and Early 20th Century Painting
Among the fine art highlights are works by 19th and early 20th century masters such as Ivan Aivazovsky, Nicholas Roerich, Alexandre Iacovleff, Vasili Polenov and David Burliuk, among many others. Ivan Aivazovsky is represented by his Columbus Sailing from Palos (est. $1/1.5 million), one of his colossal canvases depicting the life of Christopher Columbus and his discovery of America, included among the works he brought when he journeyed to America to represent Russian artists at the World’s Fair in 1893. Sotheby’s previously sold two other works from this series in 2006 and 2008, but Aivazovsky’s stunning portrayal of Columbus’ departure from Palos, Spain, on August 2, 1492, is among the finest of such compositions to ever appear at auction. Also offered for sale is Aivazovsky’s Ship in a Stormy Sea Off the Coast (est. $650/750,000).

Boris Grigoriev painted Portrait of a Young Girl with Toys (est. $700/900,000) in 1920, at the outset of a period that was extremely productive for the artist. Above all, the beginning of the decade marked his introduction to the world outside of Russia; he spent extensive time in Germany, France, and the U.S. At once both conservative and revolutionary, his canvases reflected both German Expressionist and French post-Impressionist influences, while his reliance on contour line and elasticity has been linked to icon and Renaissance painting. This painting has been held privately since 1920 when it was acquired directly from the artist. Another notable Grigoriev, Preparing Crepes: A Pair (est. $500/700,000) was a large portrait the artist gave as a gift to Giovanni Pramaggiore, the owner of Giovanni’s, a popular Manhattan restaurant frequented by Russian émigrés. The portrait depicted Giovanni preparing Crepes Suzette, a ritual that Grigoriev often visited the restaurant to witness. He later divided the single canvas into two unique masterpieces at the subject’s request. The larger of the two compositions hung in the restaurant until its close in 1980, and arrive here fresh to the auction market from the subject’s descendents.

The sale also includes a large selection of works by Nicholas Roerich, highlighted by the cover lot, St. Mercurius of Smolensk (est. $500/700,000), picturing the courageous soldier and holy martyr of Russian Orthodox tradition who was, as prophesied, beheaded in battle while defending Smolensk from the Mongol army. Also on offer is Roerich’s Mystery, (est. $300/500,000), which has been exhibited extensively throughout the U.S., and Monhegan, Maine (Hope) from the Series Ocean, 1922 (est. $250/350,000). In 1922, Roerich traveled to Monhegan, a secluded island off the coast of Maine, which he painted in several compelling compositions. Roerich’s trip to Monhegan was momentous, for it was there that he convinced his closest American followers and patrons to establish the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York. It was also there that he convinced them to fund his journey to Central Asia, where he spent the rest of his life and painted many of his bestknown series.

In 1894, Vasili Polenov designed the décor for the lyrical staging of Aphrodite, the imagery from which he later adapted in Classical Landscape, A Design for The Opera Prizraki Elladyi (Ghosts of Hellas) (est. $250/350,000). Polenov executed multiple variations of this composition, and it became very popular thanks to its reproduction on greeting cards and in journals.

Alexandre Iacovleff also took inspiration from the stage. He was a regular visitor to Asian theatres, where he made many drawings and paintings from life, such as Samurai (est. $85/125,000), in which he attempts “ explain the attraction of [Eastern] dramatic art and the importance which I attribute to it…”

David Burliuk was internationally proclaimed the “Father of Russian Futurism” and was highly influenced by the work of Umberto Boccioni and the other Italian Futurists. He sought to convey a sense of rhythm and continuous motion through the use of space, color and dimension. Witch Doctor (est. $150/200,000) explores the fundamentals of the Futurist manifesto—vibrant stripes of color swirl around the fiery portrait, creating a primal, almost savage effect. The artist’s Blue Rider, also included in the sale (est. $100/150,000) was a theme the artist returned to in multiple works, influenced by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc’s Expressionist school Der Blaue Reiter.

Contemporary Paintings
Featured contemporary paintings include a major work by Komar + Melamid, Eros and Psyche From the Series Anarchistic Synthesism (est. $80/120,000). The series exemplifies their artistic concept of combining multiple styles from Western art history. This work is based on the Greco-Roman story of Eros and Psyche, telling of the struggle for love and trust between the two protagonists. In one of the panels in the present work, Eros is depicted hovering above Psyche, signifying the passion of love. The hand of God restrains Eros from the performance of an amorous act. The other panel depicts a ritual slaughter of an animal, symbolizing the act of making an offering to a deity as an outward manifestation of veneration. Deconstructing historical and art-historical categories, this work divides into two disconnected parts, juxtaposing an academic style in one panel with a gestural, expressionistic style in the other. According to Komar, such absurd combinations embody “anarchistic synthesis.”

Another highlight is Birth of a Hero: 15 Sculptures by Grisha Bruskin (est. $150/200,000), who received worldwide attention when his works were purchased for recordsetting prices at the first auction of Russian art organized by Sotheby’s in Moscow in 1988. Ten of the fifteen sculptures in this work are archetypes of the Soviet ideological myth, while the remaining five depict mythological creatures. The works resemble cheap and propagandistic Soviet plaster sculptures, including the images of Young Pioneers, athletes and war heroes that were found in every Soviet city and town square during the time of Bruskin’s childhood. Each of the archetypal figures represents the new type of Soviet person, and each holds some accessory, such as a Kremlin tower, portrait of Lenin, hammer and sickle, or a slogan. The inclusion of mythological figures of angels and demons is in stark counterpoint to the Soviet ideological system, in particular its rejection of all supernatural forces. Bruskin’s goal is, as he put it, “to look at socialism as if from the future and to create a fundamental lexicon of Soviet types.”

Works of Art
The afternoon session of the sale is devoted to Russian Works of Art, including Fabergé and Icons. Featured is an exciting group of enamels including two rare pieces that demonstrate the superior skills of 19th century Russian goldsmiths. A rare Russian gilded silver and shaded enamel pictorial punch bowl and ladle, by Fabergé’s regular supplier Feodor Rückert includes figures of brave warriors and lovely maidens of Old Russia, all in high relief and seemingly floating above the fearsome eagles (est. $150/200,000). A smaller, but equally exquisite Russian gilded silver and shaded enamel cake basket by Orest Kurliukov, is decorated with a detailed scene from the tale of Sadko, the hero of a popular Russian tale (est. $70/100,000). Magnificently robed, he stands on the shore of Lake Ilmen playing his gusli (stringed instrument) as two beautiful daughters of the Sea King float among the stylized waves listening to the music. The musical theme was particularly appropriate as the basket was given to the legendary conductor Arthur Nikisch, who frequently performed in Russia.

The sale will also include an important and complete Fabergé silver toilet set in its original fitted traveling case made for Princess Gorchakov (est. $300/500,000). Created by the workmaster Julius Rappoport in St. Petersburg, circa 1900, the set comprises a dressing mirror, a pair of velvet-lined boxes, a velvet-backed hand mirror, a pair of tall two-light candelabra, a pair of tall scent bottles in cut glass, a pair of smaller scent bottles in cut glass, a pair of powder boxes, a pair of small candlesticks, and a pair of trays; all items save the dressing mirror engraved with the coat of arms of the Princes Gorchakov, one of the most ancient Russian princely families. Such toilet sets were frequently wedding gifts and, based on the date of this set, it can be presumed that it was a wedding gift from Prince Alexander Gorchakov to Daria Bibikova, a lady-in-waiting to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, on the occasion of their marriage in 1904.

Also bearing impeccable Imperial provenance is a tea set belonging to AnastasiaMikhailovna: an important Imperial Russian silver tea service, Nichols and Plinke, St. Petersburg, 1879 (est. $320/380,000). Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna, grand-daughter of Emperor Nicholas I, was an extremely charismatic figure, remembered by friends and contemporaries as “very beautiful….the perfect princess.” In 1879, the year that this impressive tea service was produced, she made an important dynastic marriage to Friedrich Franz, Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who was related to Emperor Alexander III. The offered tea service was presumably made as a wedding gift or ordered from the fashionable St. Petersburg retailers and court suppliers Nichols and Plinke for her trousseau. The set comprises a teapot, hot water pot, two-handled tray, kettle with stand and lamp, a hot milk jug, creamer, a covered sugar bowl, a tea strainer, sugar tongs, and twenty-four tea spoons, each piece engraved with the Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna’s monogram – the letters “MA” beneath the Imperial crown . The Grand Duchess’s descendents include Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Princess Alexia of Denmark and Greece and Prince Pavlos of Denmark, Crown Prince of Greece.

The exceptional collection of Icons on offer features an important late Byzantine Icon of the Nativity of Christ, Crete, Early 15th Century (est. $140/160,000). The Mother of God reclines on a red pallet at the entrance to a cave against a rough mountain landscape; the swaddled Christ Child lies next to her in an oversized, sarcophagus-like crib, warmed by the breath of an ox and an ass, with the Three Magi approaching at left on horseback, guided by an angel who points out the star of Bethlehem. This icon may be compared to icons preserved in Venice at the Hellenic Institute.

Last Week News

April 8, 2009

Filmmaker Ángeles González-Sinde Appointed New Minister of Culture in Spain

Grand Palais Opens Exhibition of Paintings by Artists Fascinated by Optical Illusions and Visual Puzzles

British Museum to Examine the Semi-mythical Status of Moctezuma and his Legacy Today in Exhibition

Indianapolis Museum of Art Launches, A First-of-its-kind Website Dedicated to Art Video

A Constable, a Broom Closet Find, and a Missing Heir at Bonhams 19th Century Picture Sale

The J. Paul Getty Museum will Return a 1st Century Roman Fresco to Italy in May 2009

The Morgan Receives Important Gift of Forty Drawings from Artist Jim Dine

2009 Portland Museum of Art Biennial Opens in Maine

Agathe Snow "Views From the Top, Vertigo and Constellations" on View at Jeu de Paume

Francisco Sebastián Nicolau, One of the Most Remarkable Representatives of Realism, Exhibits at IVAM

MoMA Presents a 22-Film Retrospective of the French Director and Screenwriter Julien Duvivier

Seamus Heaney's 70th Birthday to be Celebrated by Special Exhibition at Irish Museum of Modern Art

N.C. Museum of Art Expansion Project One Year from Grand Opening

Major Installations by Mark Dion and Micha Ullman at Israel Museum

"Universal Dimensions: The Space Art of Wang Ming" on Display at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

Whitney to Present Selection of Early Sculptures and Drawings by Oldenburg and van Bruggen

New Photography Exhibitions at the New-York Historical Society Document the Architectural Landmarks of New York City

47 Galleries to Participate in Madridfoto, from May 7th to May 10th

The Heckscher Museum of Art Presents Le Nuit des Musees...the Night of Museums on May 16

Hyde Partners with Forty Organizations for Region-wide Season of Degas

April 7, 2009

Pompidou Offers Comprehensive Overview of the Work of Russian Artist Wassily Kandinsky

Important Works by Tamara de Lempicka From the Collection of Wolfgang Joop to be Sold at Sotheby's

Whitechapel Gallery Unveiled its Ambitious Expansion Following a 13.5 Million Capital Campaign

The Art of the Heist: Confessions of a Master Art Thief, Rock-and-Roller, and Prodigal Son

Christie's to Offer L.S. Lowry's 1935 Classic a Market Place, Berwick-upon-Tweed in May 2009

Jeu de Paume Confronts the Works of Harun Farocki and Rodney Graham in Exhibition

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art Announces Exhibition by British Photographer Fiona Crisp

Contemporary Asian Art at Sotheby's Hong Kong Brings US$8.5 Million

Martin-Gropius Bau Dedicates Exhibition to One of Germany's Most Significant Photographers

Art Basel Announces Solo Shows by 27 Young Artists as Part of its Art Statements Sector

MoMA Marks 30 Years of Celebrating Contemporary German Cinema with Kino! at Thirty: New Cinema from Germany

A Fragment of a Hebrew Inscription from the Period of the Kings of Judah was Found

Opportunity for Discussions on Ways to Apply Architectural Skills to the Particular Needs of Individual Communities

80 Major Contemporary Works from Dallas Collections Juxtaposed in Intimate, Unexpected Groupings in Private Universes

Vancouver Art Gallery Only North American Museum to Present Exhibition by Renowned Photographer Andreas Gursky

Museum of Fine Arts in Houston Premieres Landmark Exhibition of Two Thousand Years of Vietnamese Art

Immobilité: A New Work by Mark Amerika, Considered the First-ever Feature-Length Mobile Phone Art Film

Queen's Former Expert Entertains At The Bowes Museum

National Museum of the American Indian Awarded Accreditation by the American Association of Museums

Bob Trotman: Business As Usual Takes on Corporate Culture

Exhibition Explores Imagery and Function of Puppets

April 6, 2009

Urbino's Most Illustrious Son, Raphael, Honored with Exhibition in his Hometown in Italy

Smithsonian Exhibits Six Architectural Models in Design Competition for New Museum

The Middelheim Museum to Play Host to Pioneering Artist Chris Burden

A Woman with a Camera: Liselotte Grschebina Opens at Martin-Gropius Bau

Magnetic Landscape: An Exhibition of Contemporary Video Art on View at the Columbus Museum

Opportunity Resources Inc. Announces Search for Executive Director of The C.M. Russell Museum

La Casa Encendida Presents the Exhibition Portraits of New York: Photographs from the MoMA

Water Spirit is Focus of National Museum of African Art Exhibition

Palazzo dei Diamanti Opens Morandi: the Art of the Etching

The Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art Presents Marcel Breuer: Design and Architecture

Western Art Expert Spotlights American Masterpieces for Tyler Museum of Art's Spring Lecture Series

In Advance of the Upcoming Sale Villa Grisebach Shows Mies van der Rohe and Photography

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen Opens First European Museum Solo Exhibition for Jorge Pardo

Walker Art Gallery Announces Compelling Exhibition by Celebrated Women Artists

Gwen John and Auguste Rodin's Relationship Uncovered through New Art Display at National Museum Cardiff

Sotheby's to Sell Giorgio Soavi's Collection - Friend of Giacometti, Balthus, Sutherland and Alechinsky

Exhibition Gives a Fascinating Insight into the Family Life of Emily Tinne

A Pier from the Hellenistic Period was Discovered in Akko

Brooklyn Museum Announces Exhibition of a New Generation of Feminist Video Artists

High Presents Tenth Annual French Film Yesterday and Today

April 5, 2009

Eiffel Tower, Symbol of France, Celebrates its 120th Anniversary with Makeover

MoMA Opens First Museum Exhibition to Explore the Work of Leon Ferrari and Mira Schendel

Ric Ocasek's Noise Colored Party on View at the Mahan Gallery in Columbus

New Site Transports Museum Collections Directly to Visitors' Homes and Educators' Classrooms

First Major Institutional Exhibition Outside of Great Britain by Lucy Skaer at Kunsthalle Basel

Irish Art Masterpieces For Sale at Sotheby's London in May

Art Fair Tokyo Returns to Tokyo International Forum with 143 Galleries, Both Domestic and International

Discover the Works in the National Gallery Canada Collection through Previously Unpublished Articles

The Darker Side of Light: Arts of Privacy, 1850-1900 on View at the Hammer Museum

Designs for 193M Pound New Library of Birmingham Unveiled

Museum Presents an Exhibition of Outdoor Furniture by Designer Richard Schultz

Exhibition by Painter Rosson Crow Features Large-scale, Vivid Depictions of Nostalgia-laden Interiors

$3.1 Million Grant will Pave Way for Canal/Boat Museum

NEA, AU and U.S. Department of State Announce NEA International Arts Journalism Institute in the Visual Arts

Georgia Museum of Art to Organize The South in Black and White: The Works of James E. Routh Jr., 1939-1946

Sweets & Treats: Wayne Thiebaud in the Collection of the Norton Simon Museum Announced

"Monuments in Peril: Venice" Round-Table Discussion at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on April 16

Author Susan Sully to Speak at New Orleans Museum of Art on April 26

Jack and Suzy Welch Discuss a Life-Transforming Approach to Decision Making at the Smithsonian

Seen But Not Heard: Paintings by Margarete Hahner to Open at L.A. Valley College Art Gallery

April 4, 2009

Baroque 1620 - 1800: Style In The Age of Magnificence Opens at Victoria & Albert Museum

Artist Yoko Ono Unveils "Promised Piece" to Celebrate World Autism Awareness Day

SFMOMA Announces Planning Phase for New Wing to Double Gallery Space

Picasso Portrait from the Collection of Julian Schnabel Highlights Christies Impressionist Sale

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Cuts Staff, Salaries, Budget and will Reasses Exhibition Schedule

National Gallery of Art Acquires Seminal Painting by Norman Lewis

Art Gallery of Ontario Remix Exhibition Redefines the 21st-century Indian Artist

Collection of Prints and Drawings: Jakob S. Boeskov: Siggimund at Statens Museum for Kunst

Indianapolis Museum of Art Presents Fashion in Bloom in the Paul Fashion Arts Gallery

Art of India Past and Present Opens at Peabody Essex Museum

VMFA Acquires "Spectacular" Picture Scroll From India and 1888 Oil Portrait by "Best Woman Painter in History"

Flying Goldfish Feature in I Wish I Am Fish, a New Performance by Artist Paola Pivi

Old Meets New in Photography Exhibition at Phoenix Art Museum

Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges

"Just A Moment, Please," A New L.A.-Based Public Art Project By Amely Spoetzl Presented By ArtLab21

Frank Gehry Selected to Design Eisenhower National Memorial

Film Director Mike Figgis and Tate Liverpool Work Together on Film Project

Bernard Plossu. The Land of Landscapes

British Artist Susan Collins at De La Warr Pavillion

Fake or Faint Exhibition Project Presents Amy Granat, Annja Krautgasser and Katrin Mayer

April 3, 2009

Jordaens - The Making of a Masterpiece Opens at Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht

Awasia Announces Sale of Chinese Contemporary Art To The Getty Museum

Magnificent Paintings by JMW Turner Alongside Related Works by the Old Masters at Tate

1880s Worsham-Rockefeller Bedroom Is Given to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Ragnar Kjartansson At The Pavilion of Iceland for the Biennale di Venezia

New Alphonse Mucha Appears on Auction in New York City

Opus Art Takes a Fresh Approach to Still Life this Spring

C. Emlen Urban: Lancaster's Architect at the Demuth Museum

BES Photo 2008: André Gomes, Edgar Martins, Luís Palma

Robert Rauschenberg's Enormous Periwinkle Shaft Installation Now On View at Heather James Fine Art

Discover the Resilience of Humankind Response and Memory: The Art of Beverly Buchanan at the Asheville Art Museum

Strong Sales and Attendance at The AIPAD Photography Show New York

Photographs of the Aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire 1871

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's Pin Collection Exhibited for First Time at Museum of Arts and Design

Mapfre Foundation Cultural Institute Presents Fazal Sheikh

Scion's National Art Tour Installation 5: Self Portrait To Open In Minneapolis - J.Shea, Codak, Eye One To Attend

Rome Art Coterie 7th National Juried Art Exhibition

Vivid Sydney - A Celebration of Music, Light and Creativity

Kids Explore Powerful Figures Through Time During April School Vacation Week at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful