SOTHEBY’S LONDON SELLS THE ARCHIVE OF RUSSIAN FILM DIRECTOR ANDREI TARKOVSKY FOR £1.5MILLION / $2.4MILLION / RUB 74.6MILLION / €1.9MILLION SHATTERING PRE-SALE EXPECTATIONS
28th November 2012: In a dramatic 18-minute bidding battle in Sotheby’s London sale room today, three bidders competed for a highly important archive of material relating to the Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986) which sold for £1.5million /$2.4million/ €1.9million / RUB 74.6 million (15-times the pre-sale estimate of £80,000-100,000) to representatives of the government of the Ivanovo Region, who commented:
“The archive was purchased at the initiative of the government of the Ivanovo Region in order to preserve the heritage of a genius film director in his homeland, the city of Yurevets in Russia. The archive will be placed on public view in the Tarkovsky memorial house museum in the Ivanovo Region. It will become a welcome addition for visitors of the museum as well as for guests and participants of the annual International film festival of A.Tarkovsky called the Mirror.”
Andrei Tarkovsky, was the most important Russian director since Eistenstein, whose surreal films marked a turning point in the history of world cinematography. The archive, pertaining to the years 1967-1986, sheds new light on the film-making techniques, private life and artistic struggle of the film director who famously fought to gain acceptance for his work in the USSR. The collection of several thousand working manuscripts, personal photographs, recordings and private documents – including a draft letter addressed to President Leonid Brezhnev arguing Tarkovsky’s case for working in the Soviet Union was offered in Sotheby’s sale of Music, Continental and Russian Books and Manuscripts.
Dr Stephen Roe, Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Books and Manuscripts commented: “We are thrilled with the outstanding total that the Tarkovsky archive achieved at auction today. The tenacious and prolonged bidding which we witnessed is testament to the archive’s international importance. This was an historic sale in the history of cinema. No significant material relating to Andrei Tarkovsky has ever before appeared at auction, and it is unlikely that such an archive will appear again.”