Sotheby’s made a record sale today:
A record for the artist at auction was established at Sotheby’s in London when Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky’s View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus sold for £3,233,250 / $5,215,556* to an anonymous buyer on the telephone, following spirited bidding from at least five bidders in the saleroom and on the telephones. The painting was the top lot in today’s Orientalist Sale, an auction comprising 33 lots showcasing paintings, drawings and sculpture depicting Turkey, the Middle East, and North Africa.
Estimated at £1.2 – 1.8 million, the Russian masterpiece is one of the artist’s most spectacular paintings and a tour de force in its evocation of light and atmosphere. Aivazovsky first visited Constantinople in 1845 as part of his duties as official painter to the Russian Admiralty. Completed in 1856, View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus celebrates the beauty and dynamism of a busy port, with the Nusretiye Mosque – an important landmark for navigation of the Bosphorus – to the right of the painting.