Russian billionaire continues to lose millions on art collection

Dmitry Rybolovlev (credit: Francknataf via Wikimedia)

The poor Russian billionaire who lost $60 million last week, didn’t have much more luck this week.

Rothko’s “No. 1” (Credit: Christie’s)

On Tuesday, Christie’s London dropped the hammer on the final artwork in a five-piece collection owned by Dmitry Rybolovlev. The collection lost around $150 million total, reports Bloomberg, and one piece failed to sell.

The last piece Rybolovlev sold was Mark Rothko’s “No. 1,” painted in 1949. It sold for £10.7 million ($13.1 million) which was in its estimated range, but less than the €24 million ($36 million) that Rybolovlev paid for it in 2008.

The fertilizer tycoon has been unloading works from his $2 billion collection since he sued Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier — who procured the art privately for Rybolovlev — alleging he was overcharged by as much as $1 billion. Prior to this batch of paintings, Rybolovlev had sold three other works from his collection — which includes pieces by Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso — all for a loss.

In 2012, Rybolovlev bought Modigliani’s “Reclining Nude With Blue Cushion” from hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen for $121 million.