Ilya Mashkov still life painting brings 218% increase

A rare Ilya Mashkov still life painting entitled Still life with fruit has auctioned at Christie's London for £4.7m ($7.3m).

The oil on canvas, which hails from 1910, sold with an impressive 218% increase on its £1.5m top estimate.

Mashkov auction art
The present sale represents the first time the painting has ever appeared at auction

Executed in the Russian, neo-primitivist style, the work led Christie's sale of Russian art by a considerable margin.

During the 1930s, Mashkov explained of the neo-primitivists: "We wanted our art to break though the existing, stagnant world of painting, to be powerful and full of rich colours.

"It was important for us that our artistic language sounded like an organ, an orchestra, a complex chorus, bringing society to a genuine understanding of art."

Last exhibited in 1913, the painting has remained in a private collection ever since. The present sale represents the first time it has come to market since its creation at the beginning of the 20th century.

The undoubted masterpiece by one of Russia's finest artists is, according to Christie's, "the most important example of Russian neo-primitivism to appear on the market in recent history".

Mashkov's Still life with flowers sold for £2.1m ($3.3m) at Sotheby's in December 2005, suggesting values for the artist's works are on the rise.

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock