The Russian sales in New York had a little celebrity quotient:
A 19th century painting of St. Petersburg that Mikhail Baryshnikov purchased decades ago, and depicting the Russian city he loved, was auctioned Tuesday for $746,500 to benefit the famous dancer’s New York City performing arts centre. […] A German private collector placed the winning bid by telephone for “View of St. Petersburg” by Petr Petrovich Vereshchagin. The pre-sale estimate for the cityscape was $300,000 to $500,000.
Baryshnikov recently donated the painting to the centre’s foundation so it could sell it to raise money to develop new programming from theatre directors, musicians and choreographers. […] He has already donated hundreds of works from his extensive 19th- and 20th-century art collection to the foundation but said the Vereshchagin work was the first to be sold to benefit the organization.