Russian Art sale in London on 2 June will present two masterpieces by Vasily Vereshchagin (1842-1904), The Pearl Mosque at Agra (estimate: £1,000,000-£1,500,000) and The Portico of a 17th Century Church in Yaroslavl (estimate: £300,000-500,000), which will be sold to benefit the acquisitions fund of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College in New York. These iconic subjects by the great Russian master have not appeared at auction in more than 95 years and will present an exciting opportunity for collectors.
James Mundy, Director of Vassar Colleges Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, comments: From a founding collection of slightly over 3,000 objects, mostly American Painting and European works on paper, Vassar Colleges collection has now grown to over 19,000 works of art representing the history of art in the West from Egyptian antiquity to Twenty-first century photography. As part of a program of responsible collections management, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, like many art museums, periodically reviews its holdings to identify works that, because of their relevance to the program, condition, or redundancy, can be converted into acquisitions of greater potential to the academic mission of the college. The conversion into funds of these two significant works by Vereshchagin for the acquisition of future works will continue the legacy of the institution, which has served as one of the most prestigious art history curricula in the United States for a century and a half, and will continue to carry the credit line of the original donors and, therefore, fulfil to a greater degree the donors original philanthropy.
Alexis de Tiesenhausen, International Head of Christies Russian Art Department comments: We eagerly look forward to presenting The Pearl Mosque at Agra and The Portico of a 17th Century Church in Yaroslavl to an international audience in one of Christies most important sales of the season. Last exhibited in New York in 1916 and 1891 respectively, Christies is honoured to be able to exhibit these important Russian paintings in both New York and London alongside other major Russian works of art.