Zinaida Serebriakova masterpiece at auction

The star lot of London's "Russian Week" will be Nude, one of Zinaida Serebriakova's undisputed masterpieces.

The painting - on sale at MacDougall's 3 December 2009 - is the most expensive painting at the four auction houses with specialist Russian sales the first week of December.

Nude depicts Serebriakova's favourite model, described as "sensual yet pure in the naked innocence of her youth."

Nude is estimated to sell for £1m-1.5m.

Catherine MacDougall, Art Director at the specialist Russian Art Auction house, explained "we already have substantial interest in this extraordinary work, so we expect it to do well."

The painting was shown at the seminal exhibition of Serebriakova's works at the Russian Embassy in Paris in 1995.

That exhibition that marked a turning point for the artist, propelling her into the pantheon of internationally acclaimed painters.

Serebriakova's nudes have achieved almost cult status among the most important collectors.

Nude is one of the best examples of such oil paintings, and a rare find on the market.

Other star lots at MacDougall's 3 December Russian Art auction include works by Roerich and Baranoff-Rossiné, both estimated at £500,000-700,000.

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