Portrait of Russian artist Ivan Titkov.

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For Chinese painters, it was often only Russian and eastern European artists from the Soviet Union that provided them with a window to the art of the outside world.

For leading Chinese artist Jiang Zhaohe (1904-86), it was the Russian painter Ivan Titkov (1905-93) who filled this role.

Zhaohe painted this sensitive portrait of Titkov when the latter visited Beijing in 1956 with a delegation of artists from Novosibirsk.

Inscribed by Zhaohe to his ‘comrade’ Titkov, the 20 x 16in (50 x 40cm) signed ink on paper remained with the Russian painter for the rest of his life and featured at the artist’s retrospective in Novosibirsk in 2005. It has passed by direct descent and is estimated at £30,000-50,000 in Lyon & Turnbull’s Asian art sale in London on May 16.

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