The Russian Art Market Today
Christie’s Russian Art sales continue to set the global standard in this dynamic category. Our reputation for quality, curatorship and competitive pricing has contributed to our success in engaging Russian Art collectors who compete fiercely for the most exceptional pieces.
The November 2013 sale was led by Ilya Mashkov’s The bathers, with fierce bidding that led to the final price soaring above the high estimate of £800,000 to reach £4.1 million. This result followed Christie’s landmark sales of Ilya Repin’s A Parisian Café for £4.5 million and Boris Kustodiev’s The Coachman for £4.4 million – the most expensive Russian paintings sold by any auction house in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
Commitment to Consignors
Our extensive market knowledge, informed by the close relationships that we hold with significant collectors and advisors, enables us to be responsive to our market and to offer consignors realistic advice. Since 2008 Russian-speaking clients have spent in excess of £1 billion in Christie’s sales worldwide. Christie’s Russian Art sales have consistently achieved the highest selling-rates across the houses since 2010.
Since 2004, Christie’s has achieved new world auction records for Russian artists in every single Russian Art sale. We have broken 7 world records, two in excess of £4M, within the past 18 months and currently hold world-record auction prices for over 50 of the foremost Russian artists including: Natalia Goncharova, Boris Kustodiev, Léon Bakst, Viktor Vasnetsov, Konstantin Somov, Isaak Levitan, Ilya Mashkov, Ilya Repin, Ivan Pokhitonov, Yuri Annenkov, Vladimir Baranoff-Rossiné, Alexandre Iacovleff, Filipp Maliavin and Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin.
Many of the phenomenal prices have been achieved for works with distinguished provenance. At Christie’s we specialise in sourcing privately-owned pictures – often from the families of the artists themselves – that have never before appeared at auction. One such picture was Ilya Mashkov’s Still life with fruit, which caused a sensation in 2013, having last been exhibited over a century ago. The painting was toured to Moscow before the June sale in London where it sold for a world record-price of £4.8 million. We have also recently offered works from the families of Maria Iakunchikova (100% sold June and November 2013 for 514% of the low estimate) and Sergei Chekhonin (100% sold in November 2012 for 423% of the low estimate). Property from the prestigious collection of the Nobel laureate Peter Kapitza was 100% sold in November 2012 for 312% of the low estimate, underscoring the importance of provenance to Russian Art buyers.
Christie’s international Russian department has over 130 years of collective specialist experience and with specialists based in London, New York and Paris, we offer a calendar of major sales throughout the year, in April, June and November. We travel across the globe to source the finest works for sale; please contact us to find out when we will be coming to your area.