Two Russians fighting over a painting make a Dutch woman rich
Auction house Christie’s in London has sold ‘Still Life With Fruit’ by Russian avant-garde artist Ilya Mashkov for an unexpected € 5.5 million euro, a painting owned by an unnamed Dutch woman who bought it for a few thousand guilders back in 1976. In 1913 the painting was adorning Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum as part of an exhibition that also featured Kandinsky and Mondrian.
It is a world record price for the artist, the value of which appears to have been driven up by a bidding war between two Russians. The previous owner bought the work 35 years ago from a Dutch art dealer. She was persuaded to put it up for sale by a Christie’s expert who had valued it for insurance purposes a decade ago and believed the time was right to cash in.