Published: October 23, 2007
The crowd at the Anatole Hotel was stunned as Heritage Auction Galleries sold “Pushkin at the Water’s Edge,” by Russian artist Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky for $1.61 million, including premium. From the Crow Art Partnership collection and estimated at $300/500,000, the painting quickly surpassed estimates as it ultimately sold to a phone bidder from Moscow.
Bidding was intense, with serious action coming from a half-dozen other phone bidders, numerous Internet bidders and several in the gallery, including at least one bidder representing a client from Russia.
Painted by the Crimean artist known for his magnificent seascapes, Aivazovsky met the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin early in his career and admired him as a Russian hero. Pushkin was depicted in many of the artist’s works.
In “Pushkin at the Water’s Edge,” Aivazovsky painted Pushkin sitting by the sea admiring his wife, a woman he fought and died for, defending her honor in a duel many years before this painting was completed in 1886. A complete review of the auction will appear in a future issue.
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