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MacDougall's Russian works of art sale includes rare Vinogradovs discovered in South Africa
Sergei Vinogradov (1869-1938), Pechersky Monastery. The Belfry. Estimate: £50,000-70,000.

LONDON.- The forthcoming sale at MacDougall’s on 8 June 2016 features a pair of Vinogradovs discovered in South Africa. The owner's grandfather escaped from Russia in 1918. While marketing in Riga in 1935 he acquired the Vinogradov paintings. The canvasses have stayed in the same family since then, moving with them to South Africa, giving the works exceptional provenance.

The two canvasses belong to Vinogradov's renowned series of works from 1928 to 1929, dedicated to the age-old and exceedingly beautiful Pskovo-Pechersky Monastery of the Holy Dormition. The canvasses embodied Russia for the collector, whose Swiss father spent close to two decades, representing the famous Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche in Saint Petersburg, 1900 to 1918.

A rare early work by Wassily Kandinsky is also featured in MacDougall's Russian Art Auction, 8 June 2016. Rural Landscape (£280,000-350,000) demonstrates that the celebrated founder of abstract art began as a figurative painter. It was painted in the autumn of 1903, during a brief visit the artist made from Munich to the Russian village of Vasilyevskoye, where the artist lived following his marriage.

The auction is a unique opportunity to acquire the only version of the Semiradksy’s large-scale preparatory studies for his most famous painting - Leading Light of Christianity. Nero’s Torches £400,000–500,000 - that still remains in private hands. It shows human torches of Christians martyred by Emperor Niro. The artist explained that the light would "illuminate the most despicable of orgies. Yet these very same torches have dispelled the darkness of the pagan world”.

Ivan Aivazovsky, Shipwreck survivors are an important theme for the great Russian-Armenian seascape painter Aivazovsky, of which The Survivor (£450,000–600,000) is a fine example. A highlight of MacDougall's 8 June auction is an exceptional work by the great Georgian artist Lado Gudiashvili: The Legend of the Founding of Tbilisi. (£200,000 to 250,000). The work, painted in the 1940s, celebrates the Golden Age of Georgia. The section of more recent art, is led by a masterpiece by Yuri Pimenov, Dressing Room at the Bolshoi Theatre, from 1972 (£130,000–180,000)

The auction also includes fine works of Soviet porcelain in the Works of Art section. And following on from MacDougall's inaugural photography auction held 21 May there will be a further group of important classical Russian photographs.

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