Sotheby’s June 2015 Russian Pictures sale achieved a total of £10.8 million. Zinaida Serebriakova’s Study of a Sleeping Girl sold for £3,845,000, far in excess its pre-sale estimates of £400,000-600,000 and established a new auction record for the artist. Another auction record was set by Pavel Tchelitchew’s Bullfight, which sold for £677,000, over three times the pre-sale estimate. Other highlights included a portrait of Ardalion Novosiltsevby Vladimir Borovikovsky, which sold for £869,000, and Nikolai Roerich’s Before the Rain, which achieved £497,000, more than double its estimate of £200,000-300,000.
Sotheby’s has confirmed its dominant position in the market for Russian paintings, having held the most successful sale of any international auction house in London.
Our June 2015 Russian Pictures sale features paintings, works on paper and photographs from three centuries. Among the highlights is a group of works by Pavel Tchelitchew, including two superb gouaches from his Bullfight series inspired by a trip to Spain in 1934. The sale further includes works from the collection of Boris Bakhmeteff, Russian ambassador to the United States from 1917 to 1922, among them paintings by Petr Konchalovsky and Zinaida Serebriakova acquired at the 1924 Russian Art Exhibition at the Grand Central Palace in New York.
The 19th century section of the sale features the exquisite Portrait of Ardalion Petrovich Novosiltsev by Vladimir Borovikovsky, Alexei Savrasov’s recently rediscovered masterpiece The Volga near Yurevets as well as a rare view of Cairo by Ivan Aivazovsky dating from 1870.