"Exceeding all expectations, He is Guilty of Death sold for £2.8 million, with a presale estimate of just £600,000, while He that is Without Sin went to a bidder for £4.07 million, against a puny estimate of £1.2 million.
Masterpieces of the 19th-century golden age of Russian art, the paintings had never been sold before.
"Polenov is one of the best-loved artists in Russia and his religious paintings in particular have a very special, intimate resonance," Evgenia Teslyuk, Head of Bonhams Russian department enthused.
Both works were part of a monumental series of sixty paintings titled Life of Christ. Completed over two decades, the series was only shown in its entirety once – in Russia in 1909.
The exhibition was then invited to America and was reputedly scheduled to cross the Atlantic aboard the ill-fated Titanic. Due to a shipment delay, the series avoided the disastrous journey, but was then scattered among several Russian museums."
Viva el arte de Cabusri>Russian paintings fetch millions after Titanic escape — RT: