Russian paintings, strongmen attract attention to Shapiro sale May 21

David Burliuk’s 'The Living Still Life,' Estimate: $30,000-$40,000. Shapiro Auctions image

David Burliuk’s ‘The Living Still Life,’ Estimate: $30,000-$40,000. Shapiro Auctions image


NEW YORK – Shapiro Auctions will conduct a sale of fine and decorative art on May 21: the Russian fine and decorative art sale will start at 10 a.m. Eastern, followed by the European and international sale starting at 3:30 p.m. Featuring over 500 lots, with works ranging from the 17th century to the present, the sale is composed of a wide variety of interesting works and unique collections from around the world.

Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through

One of the opening lots of the auction will be the stunning  rendition of a biblical scene, Columbarium (est. $30,000-40,000), inspired largely by Polish Symbolist Wilhelm Kotarbinsky’s extended stay in Rome.

Featured among the Russian artists are Nikolay Bogdanov Belsky, Vasiliy Kotarbinsky, Boris Anisfeld, and the Non-Conformists Ilya Kabakov, Natalia Nesterova, Anatoly Zverev, Lev Meshberg, Pyotr Belenok and Mihail Chemiakin.

David Burliuk’s The Living Still Life (est.$30,000-40,000), a monumental work on canvas depicting a textural, colorful, Futurist bouquet will be among the works presented. This work (above) was acquired directly from Burliuk by Maurice Jungbeck, a friend and frequent sitter of portraits by Burliuk around the 1930s, and has stayed in the family since then. According to Gene Shapiro, president of the auction house, “This is one of the largest and most impressive still lifes by Burliuk I have ever seen. It has excellent provenance, and is fresh to the market.”

The auction will also feature a unique collection of over 1,700 turn of the 20th century strongmen photographs (est. $100,000-$150,000), which depict an array of circus performers posing as both professional bodybuilders and masculine icons.


Three of the more than 1,700 Russian photographs of body builders. Estimate: $100,000-$150,000. Shapiro Auctions image

Three of the more than 1,700 Russian photographs of body builders. Estimate: $100,000-$150,000. Shapiro Auctions image


A selection of Chinese blanc de chine, jade carvings, bronzes, scrolls, and magnificent paintings by Vu Cao Dam and Le Pho will open the second part of the sale at Lot 500.

Another noteworthy work by the famous French painter Andre Lhote is Nues Devant le Fleuve (est. $300,000-400,000), which highlights the artist’s Cubist tendencies in a vivid depiction of two reclining female nudes with sailboats in the background (below). The work was exhibited the same year of its execution, at Galerie Eugene Druet, Lhote’s first exhibition in Paris.


Andre Lhote, 'Nues Devant le Fleuve.' Estimate: $300,000-400,000. Shapiro Auctions image

Andre Lhote, ‘Nues Devant le Fleuve.’ Estimate: $300,000-400,000. Shapiro Auctions image


The sale will also feature notable works by Edouard Leon Cortes, Richard Maury, Louis Eilshemius, Antoine Blanchard, Eugene Laloue, Andre Cottavoz, Benjamin Canas and Jesus Rafael Soto.


blockquote>Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.