On 27th and 30th of May MacDougalls
will offer an exceptional selection of rare Russian masterpieces, many of which have never before appeared at auction. The evening sale of Important Russian Art, which will take place on Sunday the 27th, will be led by the museum-quality painting, Still Life. Apples and Eggs, by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, estimated at £2,000,000-3,000,000. Oil paintings by Petrov-Vodkin are exceedingly rare to appear on the market and few works of such significance as Still Life. Apples and Eggs remain in private hands. The work was previously owned by Abram Chudnovsky, one of the most important Soviet collectors of early 20th century Russian avant-garde painting. The work was widely exhibited after Chudnovskys death in 1985, and is now offered at auction for the first time.
Mikhail Larionovs Flowers on a Veranda is an important early oil by this preeminent representative of the Russian avant-garde. Painted in the early 1900s, it shows the influence of Impressionism, but one can clearly see Larionov establishing himself as an original and major artist of the 20th century. The painting is estimated at £1,000,000-2,000,000.
The Important Russian Art sale features three works by the Russo-German expressionist Alexej von Jawlensky. The rare early work Stillleben mit Orangen (Still Life with Oranges, £350,000500,000) is offered alongside Stillleben mit Heiligenbild und Blumentopf (Still Life with a Picture of a Saint and Pot of Flowers, £350,000500,000). Painted around 1910-1912, it dates from the most important period in Alexej von Jawlenskys extremely fruitful career, when he and his long-time partner Marianne von Werefkin were at the centre of the rapid changes which were taking place in Munichs avant-garde circles. The third work by Jawlensky to be offered is Meditation (Kleiner abstrakter Kopf) estimated at £60,000-90,000, which dates from 1934 and belongs to the artists last and most accomplished series.
Nicholas Roerichs Banner of Peace is a representation of the idea that earned the artist a nomination for the Nobel Peace Price. It is one of the earliest depictions of the Banner of Peace, which was adopted by the international community as the official sign of the Roerich Pact, a treaty on Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historic Monuments. The three-dot symbol of the Banner of Peace was chosen by the artist because of its universal nature. To Roerich, it also symbolized the unity of art, science and religion, or past, present and future in the cycle of eternity. The work is offered with a pre-sale estimate of £300,000-500,000.
The evening sale also features paintings by such artist as Konstantin Yuon, Isaak Levitan, Natalia Goncharova, Isaak Brodsky and David Shterenberg, The second sale will take place on 30th May, when more paintings as well as icons and works of art will be offered. A separate third sale will feature a collection of works by the theatre designer Dimitri Bouchène. The total pre-sale estimate for all sales exceeds £25m.