Tonight, in Sothebys
Evening Sale of Important Russian Paintings a group of works by renowned Russian master Vasily Vasilievich Vereschagin of Russian, Indian and Balkan scenes brought the well above-expectations combined total of £3.7 / $5.7 million (pre-sale estimate for the group: £1.2-1.9/$1.9-3.1 million). The top-selling lot of this group also set a new auction record for the artist.
Headlining the evening auction and this component of the sale was Vasily Vasilievich Vereschagin's oil on canvas The Taj Mahal, Evening, which is one of the most important works to have resulted from Vereschagin's trip to India from 1874 to 1876. This museum quality painting witnessed intense competition for several minutes from no fewer than four clients in the saleroom and on the telephone banks. Setting a new record for the artist at auction, the work finally sold to a round of applause for £2,281,250 ($3,749,919) to an anonymous buyer on the telephone.
Commenting on the sale of this remarkable offering, Jo Vickery, Senior Director and Head of the Russian Art Department , said: It has been a huge privilege to bring to the market such a number of highly desirable and quality works by this renowned Russian Master, Vereschagin. The international competition for these works in this evenings sale is enduring testament to this artists output and the quality of the works on offer, which saw huge interest pre-sale. We are also thrilled to have set a new record for the artist at auction with the £2.2 million price achieved for his The Taj Mahal, Evening.
The second highest price of the group was paid for Vereschagins oil on canvas On Campaign realised 481,250 ($791,079) against an estimate of £400,000-600,000 and the artists oil on canvas The Chief Mosque in Futtehpore Sikri, far surpassed pre-sale expectations of £80,000-120,000, bringing £373,250 ($613,548).