“Birch Grove” – Arkhip Kuidzhi 1881
The results of Sotheby’s two day sale of Russian art are in. Of 325 lots, 204 sold for a total of $46 million. The first session of 19th and early 20th century art accounted for the great majority of sales, totaling $30,400,050. The top lot of the auction set a record for the artist Arkhip Kuindzhi. His “Birch Grove” (above) sold for $3.1 million. Other important sales include Ivan Shishkin’s Forest Landscape, which sold for $847,400, and Ivan Aivazovsky’s Distributing Supplies, The Relief Ship, and The Arrival of Columbus’ Flotilla ($2, 3, and 1.5 million respectively).
As with most Russian Auctions held at major auction houses, most buyers were either Russian or Ukranian, but Sonya Bekkerman, head of Sotheby’s Russian department, drew attention to a respectable number of U.S. buyers as well.
“Christie’s two-session sale of Russian art on April 18 was a much more modest affair than Sotheby’s three-session extravaganza earlier in the week. Christie’s sale included only 294 lots, versus Sotheby’s 539, and had virtually no icons to speak of, but it earned an impressive $17,595,738, well above pre-sale expectations of $9–12 million. Altogether 253 lots found buyers, a solid total of 86 percent both by dollar amount and by number of lots.” – Artinfo.com (click here for full article)