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Status, price and estimate of the artist Serge IVANOFF
Price of a painting: 300 – 20,000 €.
Estimate for a drawing or watercolour by the artist at auction: €80 – €1,000
A travelling artist
Sergei Petrovitch Ivanoff, better known by his French name Serge Ivanoff, is a Russian painter. Originally from Moscow, he showed early artistic gifts and turned to a career as a painter at an early age. His education is widely known, he entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg in 1917, at the height of the Russian revolution. Three years later, his wife and son, fleeing the Bolshevik regime, moved to Paris; Ivanoff joined them as soon as he graduated, deeply affected by the horrors of the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.
Ivanoff quickly became well known as a portrait painter throughout Europe, thanks to his numerous trips to the great European capitals. Moreover, from 1930 onwards, and for twenty years, Ivanoff worked for the newspaper L’Illustration, which enabled him to distribute his works massively and to travel throughout the world, particularly to Italy, Denmark, Holland and Brazil. In 1950, the painter moved to the United States for a time and was made an honorary US citizen a year later; for nearly ten years, Ivanoff continued to explore the world around him, travelling to the United States and painting numerous portraits.
The Parisian years
Between 1920 and 1950, when the artist was not travelling the world, he was based in Paris, where he painted and befriended the greatest personalities of the time, whose portraits he painted, such as Serge Lifar, Edwige Feuillère, Paul Valéry, Eleanor Roosevelt and even Pope Pius XI. His portraits are marked by great sensitivity and are strikingly vivid and realistic, the personalities of the people portrayed touch the canvas.
Alongside his portraits, which made him a success, and marked by his collaboration with the newspaper L’Illustration, Ivanoff also produced “reportage drawings”, highlighting French heritage objects, such as the Hôtel de Drouot or the cathedrals of France from 1940 onwards, a series of canvases, some of which are preserved in the Carnavalet Museum.
Beyond the portraits, the reputation
The end of Ivanoff’s life, in the continuity of what he had known since his arrival in France, was marked by success and notoriety. On his return from the United States, he received the gold medal at the Salon des Indépendants in 1966, which was presented to him personally by André Malraux. His activities as a portraitist, which made up most of his reputation, should not make us forget a more discreet aspect of the artist’s activity, that of book illustration, such as Tristan et Yseult, ed. Joseph Bedier, 1960.
Serge Ivanoff’s works regularly appear on the art market and remain highly prized by collectors, who snatch up some of the artist’s best-known portraits, such as Daydream, 1962, sold for 62,000€ in Monaco in August 2013. It should be noted, however, that only the artist’s grandson, Alexandre Barbera-Ivanoff, himself a painter, is authorised by the family to identify the works of his grandfather.
Appraise and sell a painting by Sergueï Petrovitch Ivanoff
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