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MacDougall's December 1st Auction to Feature Russian Art Worth an Estimated £16m

Via: Art Knowledge News Posted: 2011-11-20

artwork: Leon Bakst - "Le Port de Famagouste. Set Design for "La Pisanelle ou la Mort parfumee" - Pencil, watercolour & gouache on cardboard - 24 x 39 cm. Courtesy MacDougall’s, London where it will be auctioned on December 1st in the Russian paintings, icons and works of art sale - Estimate £40,000-60,000.

London.- On December 1st, MacDougall’s will present Russian paintings, icons and works of art with a total pre?sale estimate of over £16m. The sale exhibition will be on view in London from November 25th through November 30th. The sale is led by Boris Kustodiev’s "Merchant's Wife" dating from 1923. 'Kupchikhas', as merchants’ wives are known in Russian, are among the artist’s most recognisable images. The present example, which is estimated at £1,200,000–1,800,000, was shown at the historic Russian Art Exhibition in New York’s Grand Central Palace in 1924. The selections includes 15 paintings by Boris Sveshnikov, some of which date back as far as the 1950s, as well as works by Dmitry Krasnopevtsev and Eduard Steinberg.


Another highlight of the sale is "Listening to the Bedana", a rare work by Alexander Volkov. In his works, Volkov combined the local colour and images of his native Uzbekistan with international styles such as Cubism and Futurism. Painted in the 1920s, the work belongs to a new stage in this artist’s career in which he experimented with figurative representation. In "Listening to the Bedana" (the same Uzbek word signifies both the quail and the cage which holds him), the artist deals with two of his favourite subjects, those of teadrinking and music-making. Appearing at auction for the first time, the painting is estimated at £300,000–500,000. Dating from 1918, Mikhail Nesterov’s "The Nightingale is Singing" (est. £600,000–900,000) is one of the earliest versions of his celebrated composition, of which he painted at least four. The original version of 1917 is now lost, while a later version is in the collection of the National Art Museum of Belarus. In this work, the artist addresses one of the most enduring themes in his oeuvre, that of the fate of the Russian woman.

artwork: Nikolai Kalmakov - "Bacchanalia", 1930 - Pastel and gouache on paper, laid on cardboard - 49.5 x 64 cm. Courtesy MacDougall’s, London where it will be auctioned on December 1st. - Estimate £140,000-180,000.

The December sale also features several exceptional 19th century paintings, including the particularly fine "Sea Shore. Crimea" by Lev Lagorio, estimated at £250,000–300,000, as well as an outstanding work by Russia’s most lyrical landscape painter, Aleksei Savrasov. "Pastoral Scene" (est. £400,000–600,000) is one of the small group of landscapes that the artist painted towards the end of his life, a period from which very few works survive. The small-scale format so beloved by Savrasov is similar to that of his most celebrated work, "Rooks Have Returned" in the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. MacDougall’s is delighted to offer a particularly strong selection of Nonconformist works from an Italian private collection. The owner of these works acquired them directly from the artists while working and living in the Soviet Union in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

MacDougall’s occupies a leading position in the market for Russian Post-War art, having handled several important Nonconformist collections in the past few years. MacDougall’s Important Russian Art and Russian Classic and Contemporary Art sales are followed by a specialized Russian Icons and Works of Art auction. It is led by an early 20th century silver and enamel Triptych of St George with St Nicholas the Miracle Worker and Alexei the Metropolitan of Moscow, estimated at £100,000–150,000. The triptych’s striking polychrome cloisonné enamel frame is richly coloured and the design is exceptionally refined. The choice of saints suggests that the triptych was commissioned to be presented to a particularly eminent figure. The saints depicted on the side panels are the namesakes of Emperor Nicholas II and his heir apparent, Tsarevich Alexei Nikolayevich. The depiction of St George and the Dragon on the central panel not only reproduces the emblem of Moscow, but is also laden with triumphal and “victorious” significance.

artwork: Rufin Sudkovsky - "Seascape", 1876 - Oil on canvas - 61 x 106.5 cm. - Courtesy MacDougall’s, London To be auctioned on December 1st in the Russian paintings, icons and works - Estimate £70,000-100,000.

MacDougall Auctions is the only fine art auction house to specialise exclusively in Russian art. Sales take place twice a year during London's Russian week, in June and November/December. It was the first international auction house with a representative in Moscow and is still the only one with a representative in Kiev. Despite the overall economic situation of the last few years, the Russian art market has fully recovered and the latest sales have demonstrated a strong potential for further growth. In 2010, MacDougall's Russian art sales generated more than 25 million GBP. Highlights included an early masterpiece by Ivan Shishkin, sold for more than 1.8 million GBP. MacDougall's continues to make exciting sales in 2011, such as Boris Kustodiev's "Portrait of Irina Kustodieva", sold for more than 1.8 million GBP. Since its inaugural auction in 2004,

MacDougall's has become one the three main international auction houses holding specialised Russian art sales. We regularly handle masterpieces by the most significant and sought-after Russian artists, including Boris Kustodiev, Ivan Shishkin, Nicholas Roerich, Ilya Repin and Ivan Aivazovsky, among many others. In 2009, MacDougall's held its inaugural specialised icon sale, and in June 2010 the icon sale raised over 901,000 GBP, making us the largest icon sale of the year and confirming our place as the leader in this field. MacDougall's continues to develop new and exciting areas of the Russian art market. In June 2010 we held the first specialist Russian Works on Paper auction, raising over 1.5 million GBP. Working with leading Russian art experts, MacDougall's offers its clients the best advice possible. We hold regular exhibitions in Moscow and Kiev, nurturing close relationships with collectors of Russian art. Visit the auction house's website at ... http://www.macdougallauction.com
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