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MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. Sotheby’s has brought to Moscow for pre-auction display the top lots of Russian art to be put up for sale in London on June 7.
As the chairman of Sotheby’s Russia, Lord Mark Poltimore, said at the opening of the pre-auction display, the amount of forthcoming sales would be somewhat smaller than in the previous years, which was a natural result of the world economic situation.
"The estimates have been very much conservative and we hope for very good results for the Russian sales in June. It is also important to say that a lot of people are buying art at the moment around the world. For instance, I’ve just had news from last night in Geneva. We had the biggest sale of jewelry we’ve ever had," Poltimore said.
On display in Moscow art devotees will be able to see Ivan Shishkin’s At the Edge of the Pine Forest (estimate 500,000-700,000 pounds), a portrait of the director of the Worcester Art Museum, Raymond Henniker-Heaton, by Boris Grigoryev (estimate 30,000-50,000 pounds), and a very impressive watercolor by Boris Anisfeld called Sadko, the Underwater Kingdom - a sketch for the 1911 stage version of Sadko for Dyagilev’s Russian seasons (estimate 25,000-35,000 pounds.)
The decorative and applied arts section is represented by a gold cigarette case from Faberge, made upon request especially for the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. The last Russian Emperor, Nicholas II gave it as a gift to M.M. Anichkov (estimate 180,000-250,000 pounds). Of the items not brought to Moscow special attention is deserved by a collection of Alexander Yakovlev’s 97 drawing pads with sketches he made during his travels around the world, including Europe and Africa (estimate 150,000-200,000 pounds).
Sotheby’s exhibition has opened ahead of the London auction due early next month. On display there are the most noteworthy moments in the development of Russian art over the past twenty years, such as canvases by Russian 19th century artists, sketches for stage productions of Russian ballets, rare items authored by Faberge and works by non-conformist artists created in the second half of the 20th century.
On the same day, June 7, Sotheby’s will auction works of art from Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus, entitled Contemporary East. The international director of Sotheby’s Russian art section, Jo Vickery, explained that this art was getting marginalized these days. Sotheby’s plans to counter this trend. Some of these lots have been brought to the Moscow exhibition, too, among them, Portrait of a Lady, by Vladimir Weisberg (estimate 40,000-60,000 pounds), Composition with Vase and Rose (by Dmitri Krasnopevtsev) and Three Hundred Aragvians, a tempera by Merab Abramishvili (estimate 20,000-30,000).
This is not the end of the season of Sotheby’s pre-auction exhibitions. On May 24 the Zilart center in Moscow will open an exhibition of top lots for the evening auction of modern art due in London on June 28. Viewers in Moscow will be able to see works by Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Yves Klein and Lucio Fontana.
Vickery said Russian collectors showed growing interest in modern world art.
"As I reviewed auction statistics, I discovered that between 2014 and 2015 there was a two-percent growth in purchases by Russian collectors in the modern international art category. One can say that interest keeps growing no matter what," Vickery said.