DETAIL from Félix Resurrección Hidalgo’s La Pintura

FÉLIX RESURRECCIÓN HIDALGO’s painting La Pintura (1890s) sold for P78,256,000 (inclusive of buyer’s premium and VAT) at last weekend’s “Important Philippine Art” sale as part of Salcedo Auctions’ “The Well-Appointed Life” auction on Sept. 21 at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Peninsula Manila in Makati City.

After almost nine minutes of bidding, the painting was hammered at P67 million from an opening bid at P16 million.

Measuring 150 x 75 centimeters, the painting depicts a Caucasian woman facing a canvas while holding a palette and paintbrush. It was last seen in public at the 1893 Exposicion Historio-Natural y Etnografica of the Museo Arqueologico in Madrid where it was also photographed. The painting has been in the possession of the descendants of former mayor of Sarria, Spain, Don Xose Vasquez Castiñeira, who were also the custodians of the boceto of Juan Luna’s Spoliarium which was sold at auction last year.

According to a post on the same date at the Salcedo Auctions Facebook page, the sale of La Pintura beats the former Hidalgo world record of the oil painting titled, Pareja de Jóvenes Tagalos ante un Rio which was sold at a hammer price of P51,600,122 at an auction in Madrid in October 2018.

Other artworks that sold at the auction were: Justin Nuyda’s Untitled (Search) of his Mindscape Series at P2,569,600; National Artist for Visual Arts Vicente Manansala’s Market Scene (1974), P1,635,200; Roberto Chabet’s Untitled (Veranda) from the 1960s, P1,985,600; Mauro “Malang” Santos’s 1973 Untitled (Woman), P3,854,400; National Artist for Visual Arts José Joya’s 1960 Untitled (Abstract), P3,504,000; and National Artist for Visual Arts Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera’s 2003 Untitled (Sabel), P9,928,000. All prices include buyer’s premium and VAT.

Some 165 paintings and sculptures; 152 pieces of furniture, books, and maps; fine jewelry and timepieces; a red, first-generation 1969 Chevrolet Camaro; a BWM motorbike from the same year; and a vintage Mobil gas pump in fire-engine red went under the hammer in this year’s edition of the auction house’s “Well-Appointed Life” series.— Michelle Anne P. Soliman