Paris has long symbolized freedom of artistic expression and has sheltered creative émigrées from around the world. Throughout the 20th century, when communism and conformism dominated eastern Europe, talented Russian artists flocked to the City of Light to hone their craft and join the flourishing art community. In Paris on October 16th, Artcurial will host the auction of the Khatsenkov collection that includes over 75 Russian paintings and sculptures from Paris. Among the artworks are the paintings of illustrious female artists such as Natalia Gontcharova, Sonia Delaunay and Marie Vassilieff, who made their mark on Paris´avant-garde scene by developing new movements of modern art and furthering the prominence of women artists. Here are some of their most notable pieces in the upcoming auction:

Natalia Gontcharova 

The highest estimated lot at the auction, this oil painting by famed Russian artist Natalia Gontcharova (1881-1962) is indicative of her early work that incorporated themes of Russian folk art and cubism. She was a founder of the Russian avant-garde group, Jack of Diamonds, and Der Blaue Reiter, an expressionist art movement led by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc that emphasized abstraction, bold color and the fluid rendering of shapes. Today, many of Gontcharova´s paintings have sold at auction for millions of dollars, and her works are displayed at the world´s major art museums including MoMA and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Sonia Delaunay 

Sonia Delaunay was fascinated by the distortion of shape and strong color in her artworks, which ranged from paintings to fashion textiles. This Nude, one of her early works in Paris, displays an abstracted depiction of the traditional reclining nude form. In later years, together with her husband, Der Blaue Reiter artist Robert Delaunay, she founded the Orphism movement, recognizable for its recurring circular shapes in bold shades of primary colors.

Marie Vassilieff

In the years preceding World War I, Marie Vassilieff´s studio was one of the most famous gathering places in Paris for such luminaries as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Amedeo Modigliani. She was inspired by the Fauvism and cubism movements, and abstracted shape and form in her artwork. She later settled on the Cote D´Azur, fabled for its fantastic interplays of light and color, where she embraced brilliant shades, clearly defined subjects and elements of primitivism in her paintings.

Vera Rockline

Vera Rockline´s fame was initiated by her realist depictions of the female nude, but by the end of her career she became inspired by the burgeoning post-Impressionist movement that produced romantic landscapes with lush color and blurred strokes. This idyllic painting shows her command of blending varying hues to abstract a traditional pastoral scene.


Marevna´s use of the Pointillist technique to create a full image out of the sum of tiny brushstrokes displays an Impressionist interpretation of the classic female nude form. Marevna, who was part of Paris´s Montparnasse community of avant garde artists, painted primarily pointillist and cubist works and concentrated on the depiction of people in informal settings and poses.

Olga Sacharoff

Olga Sacharoff settled in Paris in the first decade of the 20th century, and her art style transformed frequently throughout her life. She was influenced by Paul Cezanne, whose stark still life paintings depicted products sourced from everyday life. In this painting, Sacharoff creates a delightful still life scene with bright color, wildflowers and a diminutive dove.