Important Russian Art auction this evening brought £10,049,250/$15,780,337. The sale achieved sell-through rates of 65.8 % by lot and 74.9 % by value, and established four new artist records. Sothebys Sales of Russian Art continue this week with the Russian Paintings Day Sale tomorrow and the Russian Works of Art, Faberge & Icons Day Sale on Wednesday.
The top-selling lot of this evenings auction was Natalia Sergeevna Goncharovas Still Life (Bluebells), which sold for £2,953,250/$4,637,488. The work was acquired by a bidder on the telephone. The painting, which is a rare example of Goncharovas early work and has been extensively published in monographs on the artist, is an exploration of Primitivism and Post-Impressionism. This museum-quality work remains among the most significant paintings by the artist ever to be offered at auction.
Commenting on the results of this evenings auction, Jo Vickery, Senior Director and Head of Sothebys Russian Art Department in London, said:We are very pleased with the overall total of £10million for this evenings Important Russian Art sale. 12% of buyers in tonights auction were new to Sothebys and with successful bids from the UK, the CIS, the rest of Europe, the US, and even Asia, we are also happy with the depth of buying. The price of £229,250/$359,991 paid for Mikhail Vrubels Tsar of the Sea set a new record for the artist at auction, and further records were also established for Adolf Ladurner, Alexander Makovsky and Alexander Gerasimov.
The second highest price of tonights sale was established for Vasily Vasilevich Vereshchagins The Spy, one of the most stirring and dramatic images from his series of paintings on the subject of the Russo-Turkish war. The painting saw competition from three bidders and finally sold to a buyer in the room for£1,050,000/$1,650,000, within its pre-sale estimate of £800,000-1,250,000/$1,280,000-2,000,000.
Further works that performed well in tonights sale:. Petr Petrovich Konchalovskys Zhelty buket (Still Life with Flowers) sold for £469,250/$736,863, reaching the high end of expectations for the painting (est. £ 300,000-500,000). This wonderfully m inimalist masterpiece from 1918, a highly sought-after period of Konchalovskys oeuvre, showcases the artists approach to still life painting at its most radical.. An exceptionally rare group of ceramics by Mikhail Vrubel, produced in the 1890s at the Abramtsevo workshop realised an overall total of £611,000/$959,453, within pre-sale expectations. These remarkable ceramics inspired by Russian folk tales and the operas of Rimsky-Korsakov are among some of the most sophisticated pieces from this crucial Russian Art Nouveau movement to remain in private hands and were led by the sale of the Tsar of the Sea, which sold for £229,250/$359,991 against its presale estimate of £180,000-250,000/$287,000-399,000, achieving a record for a work by the artist sold at auction. The artists Sadko also sold well, achieving the sum of £163,250/$256,351, above its pre-sale estimate of £100,000-150,000/$160,000-240,000). Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerichs Lhamo, realised £601,250/$944,143 (est. £500,000-800,000). The work, dated 1927, is significant for its inception during Roerichs legendary five-year expedition through India and Central Asia.. Aleksandr Volkovs Caravan, executed circa 1921-23, surpassed its pre-sale high estimate, realising £253,250/$397,678 (est. £150,000-200,000/$240,000-319,000). The work is a stunning example of the chaotic beauty that often defines the artists oeuvre.
New Artist Records:
Adolf Ignatevich Ladurner, Soldiers Bivouacking in a Village. Previous auction record: £24,500/$50,715 (November 2011). Sold for: £109,250/$171,555
Alexander Vladimirovich Makovsky, Market Day in Plyos. Previous auction record: £ 193,250/$318,942 (November 2009). Sold for: £217,250/$341,148
Mikhail Alexandrovich Vrubel, The Tsar of the Sea. Previous auction record: £181,250/$282,458 (November 2010) Sold for: £229,250 / $359,991
Alexander Mikhailovich Gerasimov, Still Life With Roses. Previous auction record: £241,250/$359,940 (November 2008). Sold for: £361,250/$567,271