$1.5m Roerich leads Russian art sale

A number of classic Russian artworks and ornaments will be hitting the auction block at Christie's, today (December 1).

A detail from Nicholas Roerich's Legend ($1,145,200-1,472,400)
A detail from Nicholas Roerich's Legend

Going under the hammer with an estimate of $1,145,200-1,472,400 is Nicholas Roerich's (1874-1947) Legend, from the series Messiah.

Roerich's three Messiah series paintings are considered his most secret and mysterious works. The present work evokes immensity of the Grand Canyon and the pure calm of the cosmos in Arizona.

Alexandre Iacovleff's (1887-1938) Loge de Théâtre à Pekin also carries a large estimate of $1,145,200-1,636,000. It was inspired by his long and intense expedition through China, Mongolia and Japan, which profoundly affected the artist's work and philosophy as the artist viewed at painted the intriguing rituals and ceremonies of the East.

Le Chasseur, painted and signed by Ivan Pokhitonov (1850-1923), is his interpretation of the landscape near Audois in the south-west of France, where the artist worked for a few months in 1885. It carries an estimate of $49,080-65,440.

Christmas could come early for one lucky bidder, as Filipp Maliavin's (1869-1940) A Sleigh Ride goes up for sale estimated at $294,480-359,920. Maliavin's festive comment on peasant life uses thick, vibrant brush strokes in a celebration of life and vitality.

A detail from Le Chasseur by Ivan Pokhitonov ($49,080-65,440)
A detail from Le Chasseur by Ivan
Pokhitonov ($49,080-65,440)

Natalie Goncharova's (1881-1962) Abstract Composition with Palette is inspired by the distinctive style of the early 19th century French Cubists. Featuring a palette and bowl on a table, nothing appears in its expected form, as shades of meaning and spatial relationships with the real world are broken down. The work is estimated at $245,400-327,200.

Meanwhile, a Large Two-Handled Porcelain Vase by the Imperial Porcelain Factory in St Petersburg - from the period of Nicholas I, 1854 - will auction for $245,400-409,000.

The depiction of a shepherd boy on the vase's side demonstrates the technical virtuosity of the painter Fedor Tarachkov, particularly gifted in the sphere of historical painting.

The sale starts December 1, beginning at 10.30am and continues at 2pm on December 2 at Christie's in London.

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