Tonight, Sotheby’s offers Yuri Annenkov’s Portrait of Zinovii Grzhebin for £800,000 to £1,200,000. Grzhebin, the subject of the 1919 painting, was a prominent literary figure of Russia’s Revolutionary Era whose publications often featured collaborations with World of Art artists like Annenkov.
Although Annenkov completed portraits of numerous Russian cultural and political leaders, such works rarely appear on the market. The last comparable example to cross the block was Annenkov’s Portrait of Aleksandr Nikolaevich Tikhonov, which nearly doubled its high estimate, bringing £2,260,500 at Christie’s in 2007.
The estimate on the forthcoming Grzhebin portrait is about the same as the one carried by the Tikhonov portrait (the Grzhebin portrait‘s low estimate is £100,000 less, but the high estimate is the same). Will the Grzhebin portrait also mimic the Tikhonov portrait’s record-breaking performance? For more on Annenkov’s market and the fate of Sotheby’s cover lot, see the latest edition of The ART Report.