EXCEPTIONAL RUSSIAN ICON COLLECTION AT SETDART
Setdart offers, on September 23, an exclusive collection of Russian icons, never seen in Spain. A set made up of more than seventy pieces, which has housed a single collector, and which is a witness to times that have crossed borders to finally reach our room making history.
It is the first time that a Spanish auction brings a collection of such important icons from different schools and regions of Russia to the general public. The online format of the auction will allow collectors and interested parties from all over the world to access this tender, which is complemented by the exhibition of the pieces in the SetdartMadrid room and with a physical catalog with interesting texts from world-renowned experts and that put in value these unpublished pieces. Using his digital tools, Setdart reveals the thoroughness and spirituality applied by icon painters in creating these masterpieces.
The Orthodox icon, as an object of artistic value, appears on the Russian historical-artistic scene at the beginning of the 20th century, coinciding with the excavations of medieval churches, with the discovery of ancient icons and their subsequent restoration. Images appeared beneath the centuries-old layers of dirt, revealing hitherto unknown chapters of Russian national history. From this moment the first private collections of these works were formed. In 1906 Sergei Diagilev organized a pompous and revolutionary exhibition “Two Centuries of Russian Art”, which occupied ten rooms of the Parisian Autumn Salon. Thirty-five ancient Russian icons were featured there for the first time, sparking the interest of the European public in Russia, Russian art, and icons in particular.
Henri Matisse, a great friend of the Russian collector Sergei Schukin, visited Russia in 1911. The purpose of that trip was to see Russian religious art. The sublime simplicity, great spiritual depth, and even the artistic techniques that the French absorbed by visiting regional Orthodox churches, carried over into his Moroccan series and the rest of his later work.
During this frenzied decade and a half before the Revolution, Russia has managed to discover, enhance and turn its religious art into a visiting card that, to this day, in an almost mystical way, attracts foreign audiences and arouses their interest in Russian heritage.
This pioneering auction of more than seventy unpublished Russian icons on the market will be accompanied by traveling exhibitions between the Madrid and Barcelona venues, digital tools, the online auction format and the catalog with publications by experts in Russian art. in order to awaken the interest of collectors, art lovers and professional researchers for the pieces that were created thousands of kilometers from our lands, in chapels and workshops impregnated with the smell of incense and under the prayers of the painters monks.
Exposed to the public in our rooms during the month of September, these mysterious pieces are telling the story of a people that, possibly, have more things in common with our culture than one can imagine.
In short, with This auction of Russian icons, unprecedented in Spain, to be held on Thursday, September 23, Setdart begins a new chapter in the Spanish collecting scene, highlighting the role of patron and collector when building historic bridges.