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Christie’s sells Mashkov’s painting for $7.3mn
June 4, 2013, 10:13 am

[Getty Images]

[Getty Images]

“Still Life with Fruit” painted by the Russian artist Ilya Mashkov has sold for a record $7.3 million at Christie’s.

The anonymous buyer participated in the auction over the phone.

The painting, in its debut in the art market, has been in focus during the Russian Art Week in London and was originally valued at an estimated $1.5-2.3 million.

Christie’s, Bonhams and MacDougall’s are now expected to put on sale a rich selection of works by the famous Russian painters Konstantin Korovin, Nicholas Roerich, Ivan Shishkin and Ivan Aivazovsky.

Prices of Russian art at auction have risen sharply in recent years.

Experts explain the growth of the market of Russian art by the ever-increasing wealth of the Russian buyers.

Ilya Mashkov’s (1881-1944) masterpiece “Still life with fruit”, has been described as “the finest example of Russian Neo-Primitivism.”

Painted in 1910, it was immediately revealed to the public at the inaugural Jack of Diamonds exhibition in Moscow, one of the earliest exhibitions of Russian Avant-Garde.

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.

Many paintings formerly in his collection now enrich major museums worldwide including the Guggenheim, the Stedelijk Museum and New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Daria Chernyshova