Mashkov’s Masterpiece, Still Life With Plant and Fruit, leads Russian Fine Art Auction in Dallas

Ilya Mashkov is one of the great masters of the Russian avant-garde painting movement and a founder of the famous “Jack of Diamonds” Group. He has long been venerated by Russian art lovers and collectors for his inimitable style and place among the artistic greats of a nation with a deep tradition of creative genius. His name and his work are well known to generations of Russian scholars who today have studied his every work and brushstroke.

When a painting bearing Mashkov’s name appears on the market, then – let alone one that’s never been sold before – the art world looks up and takes notice. That will be the case on Nov. 14, when Mashkov’s masterpiece, Still Life With Plant and Fruit, leads Heritage Auction Galleries’ Signature Russian Fine and Decorative Arts Auction.

An oil on canvas, Still Life With Plant and Fruit measures 48 by 35 1/4 inches (121.9 by 89.5 centimeters) and is completed in thick paint and vivid color.

“The painting has been examined by Mashkov scholars and has undergone thorough testing by University College, London examiners,” said Dr. Douglass Brown, Heritage’s Director of Russian Fine and Decorative Art. “The fact that it’s been authenticated and clearly identified as a new-to-market work by such a luminary of 20th Century Russian art has generated a significant buzz among collectors and museums alike.”

The painting carries a $800,000-$1,000,000 pre-auction estimate.

Mashkov is by no means the only Russian master represented in an auction that features upwards of 500 works gathered from some of the world’s most discerning collectors, including many from Europe and America. Among the master Russian artists featured at the auction besides Mashkov will be Marc Chagall, David Burliuk, Nikolai Timkov and Natalia Goncharova. Examples of avant-garde and social realism paintings, sculpture, rare Russian icons and gold and silver Faberge will also be included in the auction, which has been promoted widely inside Russia with a major reception held in Moscow on Oct. 11, 2008. Bidding in the auction is expected to be intense, especially as Russian art has continued to bring widespread interest and high prices at a time when several sectors of the art world are experiencing a slowdown.

“Works by Nikolai Timkov include his beautiful Farmstead,” said Brown. “At 42 by 55 1/4 inches (106.7 by 140.3 centimeters), this is a magnificent example of his bright and colorful work that has become so popular among collectors.”

Included in the sale are rare works by Natalia Goncharova, such as her circa 1906 Nude, one of the most impressive collections of Russian social realism paintings yet to be offered by a major auction house and a large grouping of outstanding Russian avant-garde paintings as well.

Heritage Auction Galleries, the world’s third largest auction house, will hold its Russian Fine and Decorative Arts auction at its Slocum Street Annex, 1518 Slocum Street, in the Design District of Downtown Dallas. Previews of the auction will take place Monday, Nov. 10 to Thursday, Nov. 13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Private viewings are available by appointment only beginning on Monday, Nov. 10. Call 800-872-6467, extension 1625, to schedule.

For more information about Heritage’s auctions, and a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, high resolution photos of each lot, please visit www.HA.com.

Prospective consignors and sellers of Russian Fine and Decorative arts are welcome to log on to www.HA.com and click on the "Sell Now" tab, or simply email Rachel Peart at RPeart@HA.com or Dr. Douglass Brown at DouglassB@HA.com.

To reserve your copy of any Heritage auction catalog, please contact Client Services at 1-800-872-6467, ext. 1150, or visit www.HA.com/Catalog to order by email.

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Ilya Mashkov, Still Life with Plant and Fruit, pre-auction estimate: $800,000-$1,000,000. Courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries.

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