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  Monday, June 24, 2019
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Russian art works fetched $36.1 million during the first
Russian art works fetched $36.1 million during the first day of a Sotheby's auction in New York.

Birch Grove (1881) by Arkhip Kuindzhi sold for $3.1 million, higher than the top sale estimate of $3 million and was the top lot on Tuesday.

Three paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky, a great Russian seascape painter, were sold for around $4 million.

A pair of Aivazovsky's paintings, Distributing Supplies and The Relief Ship, which once decorated the walls of the White House and are a symbol of friendship between Russia and the United States, went under the hammer for $2.4 million, compared to the value estimate of $2-3 million.

Alexei Bogoliubov's View of Venice and Vasili Polenov's The River Oyat (1883) fetched over $1 million apiece.

On the second day of the two-day auction, contemporary Russian art will go under the hammer.

Sonya Bekkerman, Sotheby's senior vice president and director of Russian paintings, described investment in modern Russian art as the most profitable and attractive business for investors. She said she expected the price for contemporary Russian paintings to grow faster than for classical works.

The auction house estimates sales at the auction will reach around $40 million over the two days.

Last year Russian art sales fetched a massive $190.9 million compared to $6.03 million in 2000.


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