A RARE painting found in Marbella – which is a firm favourite of Russian president Dmitry Medvedev – has sold at auction for 300,000 euros.

The painting, which turned up in a private collection on the Costa del Sol, tripled its pre-auction estimate.

The work ‘The appeal of Minin to the people of Nizhni Novgrod’ by Russian artist Konstantin Makovsky was sold alongside another work by Philip Maliavin, which went for 204,000 euros.

The painting holds so much significance to Russia, that president Medvedev was pictured explaining it to Venezualan president Hugo Chavez at a recent exhibition in Moscow.

“There has been an incredible interest in the old Russian masters,” explained Alexandra Heffler, of auctioneer Bonhams in London.

“They are very high quality and it was a very pleasant surprise to find them in Marbella.”