LONDON, June 3 (RIA Novosti) – A painting by Russian artist Ilya Mashkov, “Still Life with Fruit,” was sold for 4.7 million pounds sterling ($7.3 million) at Christie’s auction house on Monday, a record sum for the artist’s work.
“Still Life with Fruit” by Mashkov (1881-1944) was initially valued at an estimated 1-1.5 million pounds ($1.53-$2.30).
The painting was purchased by an anonymous buyer who participated in the auction over the phone. When the auctioneer announced the sum of 4.7 million British pounds, the audience burst into applause.
The price included a premium the buyer paid to the auction house.
Painted in 1910, “Still Life with Fruit” was shown at the inaugural Jack of Diamonds exhibition in Moscow in 1911, one of the most significant exhibitions of Russian Avant-Garde. The painting was last exhibited in 1913 at an exhibition organized by the Contemporary Art Society at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
By around 1920, “Still Life with Fruit” was in the collection of William Beffie (1880-1950) who was known as a passionate collector of German and Russian Expressionist art.
It is likely that Beffie acquired the painting from the 1913 exhibition in Amsterdam.
Prices paid at auction for significant pieces of Russian art have risen sharply in recent years. “The exponential growth of the market for Russian Art is in direct proportion to the ever-increasing wealth of Russian buyers,” auctioneers Bonhams says on its website.