MacDougall’s live auction, 30 May 2020, offers an Exceptional Collection of Russian Art of a European Gentleman, plus other properties. The 200 lot auction, including both classic and contemporary works, will be held in the traditional format of phone, commission, and online bidding, but without in-room bidding and public exhibition due to Coronavirus restrictions. Director William MacDougall explained: ‘We’ve had enough disruptions to our lives as it is. At least an auction can be held in a way with which collectors are all accustomed”.
The sale includes masterpieces by classic 19th and 20th century Russian artists such as Shishkin, Korovin, Sudeikin, Annenkov, Vereshchagin, Khrutsky, Falk, Somov, Brodsky and many others. Key contemporary artists are represented by such names as Koshlyakov, Nemukhin, Plavinsky, Chuikov, Sitnikov, and Pepperstein. Many paintings in the collection have a long exhibition history as well as distinguished provenance.
One of the star lots of the auction is Konstantin Somov’s oil A Young Lady and a Student (estimate £200,000–300,000), which originally comes from a prestigious collection of art historian Pavel Etinger. It was exhibited at the 100th-anniversary exhibition of Somov’s works in the State Russian Museum in 1969. It belongs to the artist’s famous series of “gallant scenes” of the early post-revolutionary years when Somov painted gracious youths in the idyllic settings, in denial of the horrors of the Bolshevik regime.
One of the contemporary masters of Russian art, Koshlyakov is represented by three works from a distinguished British collection. His monumental, five-metre masterpiece Grand Opera, Paris executed in 1995 (estimate £35,000–50,000) is a fine example of the master’s vision of the fragility of European civilization as well as an extraordinary rendition of the monument.