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MacDougall's announces highlights from its Russian Art Auctions on 4 June
Robert Falk, Boy with a Cap, Sitting on a Chair, double-sided composition, c. 1910-1911 (£800,000-1,200,000)

LONDON.- MacDougall’s Russian Art Auction on 4 June 2014 will feature important works by key figures of the Russian avant-garde, including Robert Falk, Pavel Kuznetsov, Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Goncharova and many others. Some of the top lots have just returned from Moscow where they were shown with great success; MacDougall's was the only British auction house to have a pre-auction exhibition in Moscow this season.

The appearance on the market of Robert Falk’s double-sided composition Boy with a Cap Sitting on a Chair (£800,000–1,200,000) promises to be one of the sensations of London’s June Russian sales. This exceptional work was painted in the Bashkir settlement of Maksyutovo to which Falk took his first wife to be treated for consumption with mare’s milk in 1910/11. It dates from the time of the first exhibition of the Jack of Diamonds group, a period from which very few works remain in private hands.

The highest estimate is for Pavel Kuznetsov’s Eastern City. Bukhara (estimate £1,900,000–3,000,000), the most important and best-known canvas from his celebrated Central Asian series of 1912–1915, which was shown at almost every exhibition of the artist’s work both during and after his lifetime. This masterpiece represents the culmination of Kuznetsov’s efforts to combine new avant-garde principles of fragmented forms with influences of the ancient tradition of icon painting and Central Asian folk art.

The celebrated artistic couple Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova will be particularly well represented. Larionov with three important works: two early impressionistic canvasses painted at his grandmother’s house at Tiraspol, Sapins et bouleaux (£700,000–1,200,000) and Une journée de mai (£650,000–900,000), as well as the later, poetic tempera, Still Life with Flowers which he painted in Paris in the 1920s (left, £400,000–600,000). Larionov’s lifelong partner in both romance and art, Natalia Goncharova, painted the same vase and scene in Still Life with Magnolias (right, £400,000–600,000).

There will be a number of unique works presented at the Russian Works of Art, Icons, and Fabergé sale. Among them a masterpiece of enamel craftsmanship by the workshop of Pavel Ovchinnikov – a beautiful rare presentation pique-à-jour set (£110,000–130,000).

Amongst the icons to be offered are some unusual examples showing the development of Russian iconography from the 17th century to the revolution of 1917. The top lot is the masterfully executed “Cloud” Dormition (£40,000–£50,000). This exquisitely detailed image is a fine example of Palekh painting, circa 1800.

The London viewing opens Friday, 23 May and will run until 3 June.

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