On April 24, the sale of renown seascape painter Ivan Aivazovsky's (1817–1900) painting “View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus”, at Sotheby's “The Orientalist Sale” auction, was sold for 3.23 million British pounds. This is the record for a work by Aivazovsky to be sold at auction.
The picturesque seascape, which portrays the skyline of Constantinople captured at sunset, was painted in 1856, during the time of Aivazovsky's creative uplift, when the exotic Eastern city inspired the artist more than once. The newly-discovered culture and environment of Constantinople aroused in the artist of Armenian decent memories of his childhood spent on the shores of the Black Sea.
“View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus”. 1856. Oil on canvas. 124.5 x 195.5 cm © Sotheby’s
“View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus” previously made an appearance at Sotheby's in 1995, when it was bought by the owner who just sold it. Buyer interest for the April 24 auction turned out to be much greater than expected. Although the price climb, which started at 850,000 British pounds, was unhurried, the closing price of 2.85 million, together with the auction house's commission, resulted in a selling price of 3.23 million British pounds.