Russian Art Auctions in London on 1-2 December 2010 will present a
superb selection of significant works by important Russian artists from
the 19th and 20th centuries, including Natalia Goncharova, Robert Falk,
Petr Konchalovsky, Nicholas Roerich, Ilya Repin, Ivan Shishkin and Ivan
Aivazovsky. In total the three sales consist of over 600 lots, with a
total estimate of over £17 million. Catherine MacDougall, Director,
comments: “I believe the current auctions represent Russian art truly
well: from Icons to Classic masterpieces of Aivazovsky and Shishkin to
avant-garde artist Natalia Goncharova, to Works on Paper to Contemporary
Russian art – all the periods and styles are represented and there is
something for every collector’s taste.”
MacDougall's Russian Classic and Contemporary Art Auction includes a
very strong offering of rare 19th century masterpieces. Returning Home
(est. £750,000–1,200,000) is an exceptional painting by Ilya Repin,
depicting the artist’s return to his parents’ house, thirteen years
after he had left it for St Petersburg to study at the Imperial Academy
of Arts. The painting demonstrates the artist’s gift for conveying
different states of emotions and psychological nuances, and occupies
without doubt an important place in the artist’s oeuvre.
Painted in 1860, View of Valaam Island, Kukko (est.
£900,000–1,200,000) is Ivan Shishkin’s first true masterpiece of his
highly successful career as a landscape artist. Shishkin exhibited two
versions of the composition at the Imperial Academy of Arts exhibition
in 1860, for which he was awarded the large gold medal. The smaller of
these two paintings is now at the State Russian Museum in St Petersburg,
while the larger version will be offered for auction on 2 December.
The sale also features two particularly fine paintings by seascape
painter Ivan Aivazovsky, Venetian Lagoon by Night (est.
£800,000–1,200,000) and Moonlit Night on the Dnieper (est.
£500,000–700,000). Like no other artist, Aivazovsky excelled in
rendering the effects of moonlight on water, and both pictures are prime
examples of his skills.
In response to the strong demand for early 20th century works, the
sale also includes some exceptional paintings by representatives of the
Russian avant-garde. Among the highlights is Natalia Goncharova’s
compelling Espagnole in White (est. £500,000-700,000), one of the best
examples from a series depicting Spanish dancers. Goncharova had first
visited Spain in 1916, while working on costume designs for Sergei
Diaghilev. She was immediately fascinated by Spanish costumes and
started to incorporate the theme of Spanish dancers into her work.
Another important variation on this theme is in the collection of
Italian actress Sophia Loren.
Three works by Robert Falk are led by Still Life with Clover (est.
£600,000–900,000), a rare painting from the artist's early Jack of
Diamonds period. Falk was a founding member of this important artistic
society of the early Russian avant-garde, uniting artists influenced by
the work of Cézanne, the Fauves, the Cubists as well as Russian folk
art. On the reverse of the canvas is a fragment of an earlier
composition, showing a lady in a hat. In 1928, Falk left Soviet Russia
for France, where he worked until his return ten years later, in 1938.
The auction includes two important works from the artist's French
period. Falk painted both Village Landscape with Tall Trees (est.
£250,000–300,000) and Carousel. Brittany (est. £450,000–500,000) in
1934, when he spent the summer in Brittany together with his son Valery.
The sale also includes a picture by Petr Konchalovsky, another
founding member of the Jack of Diamonds group. His Bathing at Midday
(est. £500,000–700,000) belongs to the famous series of landscapes
painted at the Abramtsevo estate in the early 1920s. In this
characteristic work, the artist developed the iconic theme of bathing
women, while depicting at the same time a beautiful light-flooded
Having sold several important works by Nicholas Roerich in the past,
MacDougall's is pleased to announce another extraordinary picture by
this outstanding artist. Dated 1927, Commands of the Teacher (est.
£300,000–400,000) is one of the paintings that Nicholas Roerich
completed while staying in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator, where he
was preparing for an expedition to Tibet. Before leaving Ulan Bator,
Roerich sent his works to New York, and in October 1927, the New York
Times Mid-week Pictorial had a full page report on their arrival with
several reproductions, including Commands of the Teacher.
Following the success of its inaugural Russian Works on Paper
Auction held in June 2010, MacDougall’s is delighted to announce its
second sale comprising over 200 lots of drawings and watercolours both
from the 19th and 20th centuries. Among the works on offer is Nubian
with a Waterpipe (est. £40,000–60,000) a particularly refined
watercolour by Mikhail Zichy. Hungarian by birth, Zichy spent a large
part of his life in St Petersburg, where he was court painter to the
Russian Tsars. Other highlights from the sale include works by Pavel
Tchelitchew, Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, Boris Kustodiev as well as Zinaida
On 2 December, MacDougall will hold its Russian Icons and Works of
Art Auction consisting of over 150 lots. Among the most important pieces
on offer is a magnificent pair of triptych folds of the Mother of God
“It is Truly Meet” (est. £115,000–150,000) as well as an important 17th
century icon of the Mother of God Hodegetria with the Archangels Michael
and Gabriel (est. £100,000–150,000).