$10mln bid beats recent Russian art sales record at Christie's

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An early 20th-century Russian painting was sold at a record price of $10 million at Christie's art sale Monday, breaking the previous record for a Russian painting set last week, the London-based auction house said. 

Natalia Goncharova's Apple Picking was sold for £4.9 million ($10 million), almost five times its estimate and 30% up on the price fetched by a Konstantin Somov painting last Wednesday. „Konstantin Somov's The Rainbow was sold for £3.3 million ($6.5 million), but was able to retain its record price status for five days only,” Christie's spokesman Vitaly Ryazantsev said, adding that the winning bid for the 1927 picture was more than six times its top estimate.

Previously, the highest-priced Russian painting was Somov's 1922 Pastorale
Russe, sold for £2.7 million ($5.31 million) at a Christie's sale last November. Apple Picking, painted in 1909, dates back to the most productive period in Goncharova's career, when she was inspired by Russian icon painting and folk motives, as much as by French Impressionist and post-Impressionist painters, notably Paul Gauguin. A series of auctions featuring imperial and avant-garde art from Russia kicked off in London last Tuesday as Sotheby's held its largest-ever Russian sale, featuring some 550 lots. The highest value lot - an early-20th-century Still Life with Jug and Icon by Mikhail Larionov, Goncharova's husband - went for £2.26 million ($4.45 million), more than a double its £1 million estimate.

Russian artworks was also up for sale last week at MacDougall Arts Ltd., an auction house established in London three years ago especially to cater for post-war and contemporary Russian art. (rian.ru)

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