One of the earliest paintings in this auction is a portrait of Maria Fyodorovna (1759-1928), who was born a duchess into the Prussian royal family, and married the future Emperor Paul I of Russia in 1776. The portrait shows her at the age of 18. It was executed by the workshop of the Swedish painter Alexander Roslin, who was a popular portraitist in the late 18th century in Europe. His portraits were mainly known for their excellent reproduction of fabrics.

Roslin resided in Russia from 1775-77, where he painted the members of the local nobility and the tsar's family. Roslin painted the grand duchess as a full model in a robe à la française made of orange silk. The bust portrait was created on the basis of this painting in Roslin's workshop.

Fast forward 150 years to the beginning of the 20th century, when the Russian art scene was seized by a wave of avant-garde that broke with classical art and paved the way for modernity. Based on the foundations of futurism and cubism, short-lived styles such as Neo-primitivism, Cubofuturism and Suprematism appeared in Russia. Kasimir Malevich (1878-1935) was the leader of Suprematism, an abstract art movement that employed hard-cut geometric forms to reach supreme artistic expression.

One of Malevich's pupils was Nikolai Mikhailovich Suetin, whose work Dynamics of Equilibrium is featured in the upcoming auction. He became a major proponent of Suprematism and became one of the movement's leading artists. He worked primarily as a ceramics painter for a porcelain plant where he transposed Suprematist non-objective forms onto the pieces.

A contemporary of Suetin, who also worked as a painter and graphic artist, was David Petrovich Shterenberg. Shterenberg came from a Jewish family from Ukraine, and after studying painting in Odessa, he moved to Paris in 1906 where he discovered Cubism.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, he returned to Russia, where his abstract art was well received, and he became a leader in various art commissions and institutions. But the new Soviet government disliked his works, and starting in the 1930s Shterenberg was forced to paint in a more realistic style. His abstract works disappeared from the museums.

The auction, which will feature a wide range of Russian art including furniture, icons, wooden boxes, porcelain figurines and coveted Russian silver crafts, will be held on November 6 at 2:30 pm in the Drouot Auction Rooms in Paris.