Ilya Mashkov's The Bathers realises 414% increase on estimate

The Bathers by Ilka Mashkov (1881-1944) made £4.1m ($6.6m) at Christie's London on November 25 - an increase of 414% on an £800,000 ($1.2m) estimate.

The painting headlined the Important Russian Art sale. It dates to 1911, and features a stylised depiction of two women bathing.

Ilya Mashkov Bathers Christies
The Bathers is one of Mashkov's most significant works

One of the most pioneering artists in Russia's long avant-garde tradition, Mashkov is best known for his work as a member of the Jack of Diamonds collective - a group of Russian artists who took inspiration from pre-revolutionary Russian folk art along with contemporary European art.

During Russian Art Week in London in April of this year, Mashkov's Still life with fruit realised an artist's record £4.7m ($7.3m).

Church in Alupka, a painting by Aristarkh Lentulov (1882-1943), made £2m ($3.3m) at the present auction - towards the high end of its £1.8m-2.2m ($2.9m-3.5m) estimate.  

This auction marked the first time the painting has been sold since it was created in 1916.

A masterpiece of the avant-garde, it depicts the Church of the Holy Archangel Michael in the Crimean town of Alupka.

Lentulov studied with the Fauvists in Paris in the early 1900s, developing his own unique style back in Russia that absorbed the principles of the methods he had learned abroad.

He was a major influence on Kandinsky and Malevich, who would go on to define Russian painting in the 20th century.

Promenade at Sunset, an 1869 painting by Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900), also performed well, netting £782,500 ($1.2m) against a £300,000-500,000 ($485,700-809,500) valuation.

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Images: Christie's

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