SALCEDO Auctions rocked the art world when it announced that the boceto of Juan Luna’s magnum opus, Spoliarium would be up on the auction block at last year’s The Well-Appointed Life auction.
It comes as no surprise that for this year’s event, the auction house’s crown jewel is another lost work from a master who was Luna’s contemporary.
Leading the procession of this year’s highlights is Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo’s ‘La Pintura,’ an oil on canvas in true French Impressionist style depicting a woman standing in front of an unfinished canvas. Last seen in public display in 1893 at Museo Arqueologico Nacional in Madrid, the artwork has since been under private ownership by the family of Don Jose Vazquez Castiñeira and his descendants. The Castiñeiras previously owned Juan Luna’s “España y Filipinas” and “Boceto for Spoliarium.”
In contrast to Luna’s bold use of colors and dramatic lighting, Hidalgo’s work is more serene and contemplative. Hidalgo captures the essence of the moment in varying pastel hues distilled by light, the softness of his brush strokes highlighting the femininity of his subject
Hidalgo’s work is accompanied by that of his contemporary, Juan Luna, whose rare 1881 watercolor ‘Venezia’ closely hews to a style known as Costumbrism, which was popularized by Spanish artists in the 19th century. ‘La Virgen María Leyendo un Libro’ a rare work by Luna and Hidalgo’s predecessor, Simón Flores y de la Rosa who is recognized as the first Filipino artist to have received an international award, is also included in the lineup.
National Artist Jose Joya uses luminous colors to usher us into modern times with his 1960 oil on board work while Vicente Manansala reins in Joya’s abstractionism with his own style of cubism through which he captures a bright and busy market scene as well as the different shapes of the human form. The lineup of modern artists culminates in a 2003 acrylic on canvas by National Artist BenCab, who drapes his muse in a seemingly mundane glossy material that frames her face perfectly,
Preview starts on September 13 and runs through September 20, 10am-6pm at the Upper Lobby of the Peninsula Manila and at the flagship headquarters at the NEX Tower along Ayala Avenue. The auction proper will be on September 21 and 22 at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Peninsula.