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Three-day Russian art auctions close in London

November 27, 2013, 19:54 UTC+3 27
1 pages in this article

LONDON, November 27. /ITAR-TASS/. - Leonid Chupyatov’s and Leon Bakst’s paintings sold Wednesday at MacDougall’s for 700,000 pounds ($1.140 million) and 500,000 pounds ($815,000) at one of the auctions, closing the three-day sale of Russian art by MacDougall’s and Bohnams auction houses.

Chupyatov’s ‘Angels’ fetched less than initially estimated 800,000-1.2 million pounds ($1.3 million - 2.6 million). The artwork by the artist of Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin’s school combines avant-garde and religious meaning reflecting spiritual strivings of the early 20th century’s intelligentsia. The piece created in 1920s is part of the range of works devoted to the life of the Saint Seraphim of Sarov. Most of Chupyatin’s artwork was gone in the artillery shelling at the time of the siege of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) that took the lives of the master and his family.

Leon Bakst’s ‘Bathers on the Lido. Venice’ sold at the low end of the estimated range (500,000 - 700,000 pounds, or $815,000 - 1.130 million). Bakst, best known for his sketches for Sergey Dyagilev’s Russian Ballet Seasons in Paris, created the piece in 1909. This is one of the four paintings featuring Dyagilev and the main artist in his troupe - the great Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky.

Bakst’s piece is the last privately owned painting in this cycle, the auction house’s owner William MacDougall told Itar-Tass. This was one of the few Bakst’s large oil paintings, a piece of museum quality, he added. Another work of this cycle is now exhibited in New York Museum of Modern Art.

Most lots at the present auction sold for the price close to the low end of the estimate. Boris Kustodiev’s ‘Venice’ sold for 580,000 pounds ($945,000) against the estimate of 480,000 - 700,000 pounds ($780,000 - 1.140 million), while one of the top lots, Polish-Russian artist Henryk Siemiradzki’s ‘The Temptation of St Jerome’ fetched 440,000 ($715,000), which is below the estimate of 500,000 - 1 million pounds ($800,000 - 1.6 million).

Bonhams sale is scheduled Wednesday night.

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