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Christie’s marks jubilee with free exhibition in Moscow

April 11, 2012, 16:39 UTC+3

The exhibits include works covering over 400 years in the history of painting

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MOSCOW, April 11 (Itar-Tass) — Christie’s auction house is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its exhibition activity in Russia. A display of masterpieces of world art that during two days - April 12 and 13 - will take place at the Muravyov-Apostol House-Museum in Moscow, is timed to the memorable date. Admission to the exposition will be free. Traditionally, journalists will be the first to see it on Wednesday.

Christie’s exhibition activity in Russia began in 1997 when the first exhibition of selected works of impressionists was held in the Kremlin, Christie’s Managing Director in Russia Matthew Stevenson recalled. He said that since then the famous auction house has organised 15 special exhibitions in Russia that were held at such prestigious venues as the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Tretyakov Gallery, Pashkov House, Spiridonov Mansion, Moscow GUM Store.

The current, jubilee Christie’s exhibition will open the newly renovated Muravyov-Apostol Museum, located in Old Basmannaya Street. On the eve of the 200th anniversary of Victory in the War of 1812, this fact attaches special importance to the opening day.

The show organisers told Itar-Tass that the exhibits include works covering over 400 years in the history of painting – ranging from Rembrandt’s masterpiece “Portrait of a Soldier, Half-Length, with a Gorget and a Cap” to the works of contemporary artists – “Anxious Girl” by American Roy Lichtenstein and abstract paintings by German Gerhard Richter.

Russian art will be presented by two paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky – “Looking for Survivors” and “Ox Cart Crossing a Flooded Plain,” as well as the landmark “Spanish Landscape” by Pyotr Konchalovsky. Art connoisseurs will certainly mark an impressive collection of works by Impressionists and Modernists, including paintings by Pablo Picasso (“Rest. Marie-Therese Walter”), Henri Matisse (“The Peonies”) and Salvador Dali (“Untitled: New Accessories”).

“After the exhibition in Moscow, the masterpieces of the epoch of Impressionism and Modern, the Dutch old masters, post-war era and the present will be put up at auctions in London and New York," the organisers said. Perhaps this is the last chance for the public to see the paintings of the great artists, because after the auction they will most likely to be put in private collections.

The main House of the Muravyov-Apostols estate is a monument of history and culture of the late XVIII - early XIX century, it is one of the few wooden buildings in Moscow, that survived the 1812 fire. In 1815, the house went into the possession of Ivan Matveyevich Muravyov-Apostol, whose sons would later become members of secret societies and participants in the Decembrist uprising of 1825. The estate where the family of Ivan Muravyov-Apostol lived at the beginning of the XIX century often arranged concerts, literary soirees, gave festive receptions. For the past 200 years the house has never been rebuilt inside - its reliefs, marble, stoves, doors remained intact. The wooden old house escaped demolition in the early twentieth century and the threat of destruction in the 1990s. At present, the restoration works are mainly completed, and now thanks to Christie’s the works of great painters will decorate the walls of the house enfilade.


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