Record-breaking Russian painting boosts auction house Christie’s revenues by 22 percent

Click to enlarge: Portrait of Maria Zetlin (1882–1976), 1910, Valentin Serov. Source: Courtesy of Christie's

Art business and fine arts auction house Christie’s earned 20.1 million British pounds at an auction entitled Important Russian Art, boasting a 22 percent increase in revenues over a similar auction it held last year. This was in large part due to a new world record reached at the auction. A canvas by Valentin Serov was sold for a whopping 9.2 million pounds, breaking the auction record for the most expensive piece of Russian art ever sold.

Seventy-three percent of the lots were sold at the auction, and the majority of the buyers were Russian-speaking clients. Christie’s received a total of 115 online bids from clients in the United States, the UK, Italy, Finland, and Russia.

A new world record

Valentin Serov’s Portrait of Maria Zetlin was sold at the Christie’s auction for 9.266 million pounds at an initial estimated value of 1.5-2.5 million pounds. This was the highest price ever paid for work by a Russian artist sold at a Russian auction.

Before that, the record was held by Nicholas Roerich’s Madonna Laboris, which sold at a Bonhams auction for 7.9 million pounds in June 2013.

Another favorite at the Christie’s auction was Portrait of Aleksandr Tikhonov by Yuri Annenkov, which was exhibited with an estimated value of 2.5-4.5 million pounds. It did not top that price but was still auctioned off at a record price for that artist, at 4 million pounds.

First published in Russian by RIA Novosti.


Read more: VIP - Very important paintings in London

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