tragedy of the Titanic, the 'unsinkable ship which hit an iceberg and killed 1,500 people, is well known. But a fascinating footnote from this historic disaster has just come to light with the multi-million-pound sale of two paintings.
The religious-inspired pictures by a Russian artist were booked to sail on the Titanic, but were delayed at the last moment, thus saving them from total destruction.
And now - when they could be lying unrecognisable at the bottom of the Atlantic - Vasily Polenovs masterpieces have been sold for nearly 7million between them.
The works 'He That Is Without Sin and 'He Is Guilty Of Death were part of a monumental series, based on the life of Jesus and consisting of 60 paintings titled.
The paintings took 20 years to complete, and were exhibited in their entirety only once - in Russia in 1909. But the series was then due to be exhibited in America, so it was booked on to the Titanic, which sailed in April 1912. DM