19th century painting sells for record $5.2 mn
Ivan Aivazovsky's painting "View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus", painted in 1856, has sold at an auction in London for a record $5.2 million.
The painting was part of the Orientalist Sale at Sotheby's. The work by the Russian painter was sold to an unknown buyer over the phone after tense auctioning.
Aivazovsky visited Constantinople in 1845 as the official painter of the Russian Admiralty appointed by Emperor Nicholas I. His other works on the city with views on the "Haghia Sophia" and the "Bay Golden Horn" were smaller in scale while "View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus" is a monumental-sized painting.
Aivazovsky's work conveys the beauty and dynamics of the busy port. In the right corner, it has the Nusretiye Mosque, an original combination of baroque and Islamic architecture, which is also an important navigation landmark.