Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova’s Still Life (Bluebells) will headline Sotheby’s Russian Art Sales Series Alongside: –Museum- Quality Masterpieces by Leading Russian Artists Including Konchalovsky, Larionov and Vereshchagin– –An Exceptionally Rare Group of Ceramics By Mikhail Vrubel– –An Important Silver Tureen from the Petrovskii Service, The Most Important Piece of Imperial Silver to Enter The Market In Recent Years– Sotheby’s May sales of Russian art – to be held in London on 28th, 29th & 30th May – will once again bring to the market a plethora of rare and important works by Russia’s preeminent artists and craftsmen from the mid-18th century to the early avant garde. In particular, this May’s sales will be distinguished by the fact that so many of the works are fresh to the market, having rarely – if ever – been seen in public before. Such is the story of one of this season’s star lots, Vereshchagin’s The Spy, the whereabouts of which have remained unknown for over 120 years. This season’s sales will also be distinguished by a group of exceptionally rare and important examples of the work of Mikhail Vrubel, one of the leading members of the Abramtsevo workshop, the all- important centre for the Slavophile movement during the 19th century. HIGHLIGHTS FROM SOTHEBY’S LONDON EVENING SALE OF IMPORTANT RUSSIAN ART, MAY 28th

Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova, Still Life (Bluebells) (est. £3–4 million)

Sotheby’s forthcoming evening auction of Important Russian Art in London on 28th of May, will bring together museum-quality masterpieces spanning important genres in Russian art, from superb 19th century landscapes to the early avant-garde – including works by Vasily Vasilevich Vereshchagin, Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova and Petr Petrovich Konchalovsky. Still Life (Bluebells) is rare example of Goncharova’s early work and has been extensively published in monographs on the artist. A fragment of her famous 1909 painting, Bleaching Linen (The State Russian Museum), is depicted in the background. An exploration of Primitivism and Post-Impressionism, the present work also reflects the important influence of Henri Matisse. This museum-quality work is among the most significant paintings by the artist ever to be offered at auction. A recently rediscovered work by one of Russia’s most sought-after 19th century artists, Vasily Vasilevich Vereshchagin, will highlight the sale. A monumental canvas, The Spy is one of the most stirring and dramatic images from his series of paintings on the subject of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878. The Spy was included in the artist’s successful 1889 solo exhibition which toured America and was sold in the culminating auction at the American Art Association sale in New York in 1891. It has been in a private American collection since the 1950s.

Vasily Vasilevich Vereshchagin, The Spy (est. £800,000-1,250,000*)

AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE GROUP OF FIVE CERAMICS BY MIKHAIL VRUBEL FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION Offered as part of Sotheby’s London evening sale of Important Russian Art on May 28th These exceptionally rare ceramics were produced in the 1890s at the Abramtsevo workshop where Vrubel pioneered new firing techniques. Inspired by Russian folk tales and the operas of Rimsky-Korsakov, the present group includes some of the most sophisticated pieces from this crucial Russian Art Nouveau movement to remain in private hands. http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2012/important-russian-art-l12111/overview.html