Yesterday marked the end of the summer Russian Art Week 2019. The results of the event confirmed the previously emerging trend: Russian art, having experienced a sharp drop in prices and demand in 2015–2016, is once again gaining momentum at the art market.
The sale total from all four auctions amounted to £35.9 — a reminder that the auctions brought in a total amount of £39.1m.
The summer auctions were relatively tame, and although we’re still waiting for that same boom of interest towards Russian art as it was in the 2000s, there were million pound sales, lots which exceeded their estimates, and even a new record was set.
Russian Art Week 2019 fell on the 50th anniversary of the Russian department at Christie’s. They successfully celebrated their anniversary by earning £16.2 million, of which more than half — £ 9.3 million, brought in by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin’s “Still Life with Lilac” (1928). It was this painting that brought Christie’s a new record — it became the most expensive sale of the season, as well as a record high price for the artist.
Sotheby’s Russian auction brought in a total amount of £12.5 million, of which more than £10 million was made through sales of painting, which was presented as diverse as possible, including works from the masters of the first half of the XIX century to the Soviet non-conformism. The top lot was the “Still life” by Mikhail Larionov, its value reached £2.2 million.
On Wednesday morning MacDougall’s auction was held — they managed to make a nice sum of £5.3 million. Boris Kustodiev’s “Bakhchisarai” was the most expensive sale, the picture painted in 1917 sold for £1.6 million.
On Wednesday evening, the week of auctions ended with the Bonhams event, whose Russian auction brought in a total of £1.9 million. The most expensive work, expectedly, was Philip Malyavin's “Portrait of a Girl in a Pink Dress” sold for £312.5 thousand.