Masterpieces from Imperial Fabergé and 18th century aristocratic portraits, to landmark works of art from the avant-garde and Soviet era presented on Sotheby’s.
From Imperial Fabergé and 18th century aristocratic portraits, to landmark works of art from the avant-garde and Soviet era, Sotheby’s Russian Art sales in London on December 1st will present masterpieces from across Russia and the Caucasus. Highlights include Tair Salakhov’s iconic portrait of his daughter, recently reproduced as a stamp in Russia; Dmitry Levitsky’s rare early aristocratic portrait from 1779; one of Boris Grigoriev’s most unusual paintings; and two exquisite Imperial presentation snuff boxes that showcase the competition between Carl Fabergé and Carl Hahn for Emperor Nicholas II’s favour.
The Russian Pictures auction will conclude with the sale of over 250 works on paper by Natalia Goncharova, Russia’s greatest female artist. Together they constitute the largest and most comprehensive collection of the artist’s work ever to come to auction, including her ground-breaking set and costume designs for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in the 1910s, alongside fashion designs, studies for well-known paintings and sketches dating right up until the 1940s. Separate press release available.
Russian Pictures: 10am, 1 December 2015, est. £6.4-9.3m (285 lots)
Russian Works of Art: 3pm, 1 December 2015, est. £1.5-2.1m (136 lots)
London Exhibition at 34-35 New Bond Street: Friday 27 Nov (09:00 - 16:30), Saturday 28 Nov (12:00 - 17:00), Sunday 29 Nov (12:00 - 17:00), Monday 30 Nov (09:00 - 16:30)
Following the Russian sale, “20th Century Art – A Different Perspective” on 2nd December will feature modern art from countries across Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. For reasons of geography history and politics, many of the countries represented have been closed off for much of the last century, their artists operating on the fringe of official culture. By showcasing these artists alongside each other, the sales will shed new light on the artistic and cultural relations between then, but also on their position within the wider context of art history.
“RUSSIAN PICTURES” HIGHLIGHTS SALE 1 DECEMBER 2015
Abram Arkhipov, Peasant Woman in a Red Dress (1922). Oil on canvas, est. £180,000 - 250,000.
An acclaimed genre painter who first made a name for himself with his masterpiece On the Volga at the 18th Itinerant exhibition in 1890, Arkhipov increasingly turned to portrait painting during the second half of the 1910s. His most accomplished portraits of peasant women however date from the 1920s, of which this is a magnificent example.
Arkhipov was born into a poor peasant family in a small village in Ryazan province, and the theme of Russian peasant life would be the dominating one of his career. True to the spirit of the Itinerant movement, Arkhipov’s genre works have an important undertone of social commentary. Arkhipov’s portraits from the 1920s provide a stark contrast to his earlier genre work, showing an idealised image of peasant life. With her red cheeks and confident smile, the sitter of the present work is a world apart from the scenes of hardship the artist had painted two decades earlier.
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