18 Jun Abalarte reigns in February’s auctions
And so it has been: Abalarte has triumphed in February indisputably thanks to one of these beautiful things that our market has: a sleepy scandalously raised from € 5,000 to a million euros. We already mentioned it in a previous article, briefly, but now we can talk about something else. Let’s review: Portrait of a lady with a little more than half a body with Cupid (135 x 78 cm) was lot 901 of this month’s Abalarte auction, an oil on canvas that, suddenly, in a bitter battle between eight bidders different means, it ends up ditching in a million euros, 1,221,000 € adding the commissions of the sale.
It was Daniel Díaz, from ArsMagazine, the first who talk about the sale: “And, of course, everybody wonders what the author was about to shoot himself in. The answer must have been for several collectors, without a doubt, the same of Giulio Cesare Procaccini (1574-1625) … “, but recently we have had more data and experts who have clearly attributed the authorship of this work to Procaccini, as we can see in ABC with the words of Joan Bosch, professor researcher at the University of Gerona: “”Yes, yes, the angel is very Procaccini” art historian Joan Bosch enthuses when contemplating the Portrait of a little more than half a lady with Cupid that yesterday gave the bell at the Abalarte auction in Madrid.” Thus, he explains how Don Pedro de Toledo, Marquis of Villafranca, came to have more than fifty works of Procaccini to his credit while he was the Spanish ruler in Milan. He also comments that he sees the artist’s hand in Cupid especially, given that “the female figure looks like a portrait, even if it is idealized, it seems to correspond to a real character and that I remember, Procaccini does not have many portraits.”
But there were also other sales, which we can not allow to be eclipsed by this cover. So we see how the Pieta (90 x 60 cm) by Luis de Morales was settled for € 45,000, and the Portrait of a three-quarter lady with a lace collar and a black and gray dress with red curtain at the back (123 x 100 cm) , by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz (1553 – 1608), sold for € 45,000 as well. And returning to the theme of the ascents, we see a work by Juan Sánchez Cotán (1560 – 1627), Lady embraced with the Child behind a ledge with a plate of cherries and an apple; curtain and in the background a mountainous landscape at sunset (66 x 50 cm). It is an oil on board that was ditched at € 27,500 after a portentous rise from € 15,000.
Much was said in the previews of the watercolor of Thomas Gainsborough that went to auction for € 10,000, and is that View of the entrance of a village with trees (23 x 29.5 cm) attracted much attention from collectors, as it came from the Anthony Mold collection in London. It ended up finishing at € 15,000. The attribution of Francisco Varela, Adoration of the Magi (209 x 153 cm), on the other hand, sold for € 20,000. In short, a good and undisputed month for Abalarte, who dare to say he will keep the top 1 of 2019, if we do not find a surprise to his height in the ten months that remain.
We continue now with Ansorena, who was selling (predictably) the work Mascaras de las escobas (63.5 x 90.5 cm), an oil on canvas by José Gutiérrez Solana, for € 110,000 from the € 90,000 output. It is a good work, and a good sale, but not as big as it should have been, or as it would have been if it had been a work of his hand that generated more concern in the public. It is crowned with Antoni Clavé, who sold a Le Main (120 x 120 cm), which left for € 36,000 and was auctioned at € 42,000.
But it was in old painting where we see another important sale: Neptune and Amphitrite (94 x 117 cm), an oil on canvas by Jacob Jordaens. It went on sale for € 28,000, but was finally sold for € 32,000, a very modest price for a work of this caliber, a resumed smaller size of another piece of the same theme from the Arenberg collection. But the sale of Enrique Martínez-Cubells is also striking The return of fishing (104.5 x 83 cm), which was settled at € 24,000, as well as the sale of Joaquin Sunyer of Nu assins dans la verde, which rose from € 15,000 to € 21,000.
We go south, to Seville, where Isbilya sold, before the stunned look, I confess, of many of us, a José de Ribera (1591 – 1652) San Pedro meditando (127 x 102 cm), an oil on canvas for which 150,000 € was requested … and in that figure it was awarded. But the work of Miguel Jacinto Meléndez, Sagrada Familia con San Juanito (206 x 180 cm) was also completed. It went to auction for € 45,000, a price offered by a buyer and so it was finished.
Also for € 40,000 was awarded the work of Juan Ruiz Soriano San Francisco y las tres santas (181 x 219 cm); and for € 20,000 San Pedro Canisio ante el Emperador Fernando I y el Cardenal Ottone (240 x 300 cm), by Cesare Francassini.
But it’s all news this month, and La Suite beat Blanche Camus’s record sales. Snack in the garden (136 x 185 cm) had an estimate of between € 9,000 and € 15,000, and suddenly was ditched for € 75,000.
That really everything is news (good) for the world of the Spanish art market in this month of February. In the Retiro room we see how some of his bets had a nice and happy ending, as in the case of Characters and Still Life (81 x 100 cm), by Rafael Zabaleta. It was sold for the € 100,000 that were asked for it, in a prior written bid. It was not the only big sale, since we also have the Portrait of María Dolores Collado and Echagüe, Duchess of Bailén (90 x 77 cm), of Federico de Madrazo, and again we see how it is sold to a written bid that covers its output € 50,000. But it was also the winner Pierre Auguste Renoir, with his double drawing Bathers and Hector and Paris (22 x 28.5 cm), selling for € 25,000 of the output.
And we close with another triumvirate. We started with Benjamín Palencia and his Castilla (78 x 96 cm), which went for € 40,000 and for that price was sold, in a previous bid in writing. We also see Antonio Saura with his Crucifixion (72 x 98.5 cm), which was settled in the same way for € 28,000. And finally, the table attributed to Cornelis van Cleve, a Madonna and Child, who left for € 18,000 and has settled at € 32,500, after a strong fight between several buyers.
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Directora de contenidos en The Art Market.
Especialista en pintura moderna, tasadora y perito. Graduada en Historia del Arte por la Universidad de Salamanca.