Top10 most expensive sales at auction in Spain in 2017!

The data of this 2017 makes it clear to us that the art market continues to rise. Of course there are changes in the pleasures and in the amounts that collectors are willing to pay for one or another work, but overall it has been a good year for Spanish auction houses. Go into Top10!

1. Retrato de niña Joven Inmaculada (O/L, 57,5 x 44 cm), Diego Velázquez: 8.000.000€.


VELÁZQUEZ, DIEGO DE (Seville, baptized June 6, 1599 – Madrid, August 6, 1660), Retrato de niña o Joven Inmaculada, O / L. 57.5 x 44 cm Auction price: € 8,000,000 (Abalarte, April 25).

This artwork brought with it an unimaginable controversy. It was unveiled to the media by the Abalarte house on April 3, and the auction will be on the 25th. It belonged to an Andalusian noble family living in Madrid, and was presented as an attribution to the Sevillian artist, specifically from its first stage, which it turned the piece into a very rare specimen worthy for the best collectors. “The exquisiteness and rarity of this great work will surely attract great international collectors to our next auction,” said González Mora, the director of the house. It is a work that is visually related to the Inmaculada Concepción held by the Focus Abengoa Foundation, acquired in 2009. Velázquez experts Jonathan Brown and Bill Jordan assured that the work also belonged to the artist’s Seville stage, just like the one that now has Abalarte, while Alonso E. Pérez Sánchez maintained that it belonged to Alonso Cano. To this day, there are still doubts about its authorship, although the work was sold for the eight million orders in a previous bid defended by the auction house. Then we leave the video of the moment.

2. five portraits of the Vázquez de Acuña family (o / l, variable measures in large format), Cuzco school from the 18th century: altogether, 497,500 €.

Five portraits of the Vázquez de Acuña family. Auction price: € 497,500 (Goya, December 11 and 12)

In this case, we have five works that went out in Goya auction house in their December auction. They were presented as works of a certain quality, with starting prices of between 5,000 and 7,000 €. Specifically, Don Juan José Vázquez de Acuña (primer Conde de la Vega del Ren, Capitán de Infantería Española… y Virrey de estos Reinos) (O/L, 200 x 104 cm),, € 8,500; Don Matías José Vázquez de Acuña (segundo Conde de la Vega del Ren, Alférez de Mar y Guerra en el Preciado del Callao, Corregidor y Justicia Mayor de la Provincia de Castrorreina) (O/L, 200 x 124 cm), € 65,000; Don José Gerónimo Vázquez de Acuña  (tercer Conde de la Vega del Ren, Comisario General de la Caballería del reino del Perú y Corregidor y Justicia Mayor de la Provincia de Chayanta) (O/L, 200 x 122 cm), 170,000 €; Mrs. Francisca Bárbara Vázquez de Acuña, wife of Mr. José Gerónimo Vázquez de Acuña (O / L, 200 x 135 cm), 225,000 €; Don Matías Vázquez de Acuña Menacho (quinto Conde de la Vega del Ren, Teniente Coronel del Batallón Provincial Infantería Española y Alcalde ordinario) (O/L, 208 x 130 cm), € 29,000. In total, adding the amounts, the 497,500 € we discussed. Again our congratulations to Goya.

3. campesinos de filipinas, (o / l, 139.4 x 74.5 cm), probably Espínola: € 220,000.

A pair of oils on canvas went to auction in Segre in the month of July. They did not seem like much, although they already came with a signature that said Espinola and came from the descendants of Antonio del Rio y Castro, who was sent to the Philippines as governor of the provinces of the Union and Laguna between 1892 and 1898. On his return, brought works like these. The experts spent the month deliberating on the works, which were offered for € 3,000, and a third canvas that was sold in a separate lot, Mujer e hija cruzando el puente (O / L, 41 x 67 cm), for € 800, considering that a rise was expected despite the poor quality after seeing how all the works of Filipino origin were sold so nicely throughout the year. You could already see the trend. So, it was believed that there would be a rise of between 30,000 to 80,000 euros: variety of opinions, as often happens. Finally, among three bidders who were also swift, the bids were raised to € 220,000 for the couple and € 48,000 for the second lot, which were purchased by the same buyer. Once again, the fever for Filipina’s artworks can be seen most clearly.

4. physichromie nº694 (70.5 x 141 x 5 cm, 1973), Carlos Cruz-Díez: 170,000 €.

CRUZ DÍEZ, CARLOS (Caracas, 1923). Physichromie nº694, 1973. 70,5 x 141 x 5 cm. Auction price: 170.000€ (Fernando Durán, July 5 and 6)

It was a striking piece, which already came in a suggestive € 120,000. It is not exactly a sculpture, not a pictorial piece. It has a bit of both, and varies depending on the movement of the viewer around it: it is a board painted in stripes, with small steel rods also painted on it, in sections. According to the viewer is positioned in one or another place, the color of the piece varies. Once again, three bidders raised the hammer price to € 170,000.

5. Convergencia (o/l, 153 x 170 cm, 1976), josé guerrero: 155,000 €.

GUERRERO, JOSÉ (Granada, October 27, 1914 – Barcelona, December 23, 1991). Convergencia, 1976. 153 x 170 cm. Auction price: 155.000€ (Fernando Durán, October 31).

Fernando Durán has had a good year this 2017. The fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth place of this Top10 go to this auction house in Madrid, which on October 31 sold for 155,000 € an oil on canvas by José Guerrero, entitled Convergencia. This work is from his stage of maturity, already dodging even the American expressionism of previous years. An artwork with history, made in the year 1976 and cover of the retrospective of the artist of the National Museum Center of Art Reina Sofía in 1994, and having belonged to more than ten anthological exhibitions of Guerrero.

6. Tobías y el ángel (o/l, 158 x 196 cm), Alonso Can: 150,000 €.

CANO, ALONSO (Granada, March 19, 1601-ibid, October 3, 1667). Tobías y el ángel. 158 x 196 cm. Auction price: € 150,000 (April 25, Abalarte)

The sale of Velázquez wasn’t the only striking event of April 25 in Abalarte. After selling for eight million euros Portrait of a girl, it was the turn of Tobias y el ángel (O / L, 158 x 196 cm), a work by Alonso Cano that came from the refectory of Santa María de las Cuevas, in Seville. It came out at € 35,000, a low price for a work of this quality but interesting itself, more taking into account that high prices are usually awarded in contemporary works. Still, it was awarded for € 150,000 after a lively bid.

7. blanc + blanc (103 x 103 x 22 cm, 1970), Jesús Rafael Soto: € 140,000.

RAFAEL SOTO, JESÚS (Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela, June 5, 1923 – Paris, France, January 14, 2005), Blanc + blanc, 1970. 103 x 103 x 22 cm. Auction price: € 140,000 (July 5 and 6, Fernando Durán).

This work was sold next to the one that occupies the position number 4, Physichromie nº694 of Carlos Cruz Díez, the days 5 and 6 of July in Fernando Durán. From the year 1970, the formula that follows is similar: it is formed by wires hung against an oil on wood made with relief, which causes that any change in the movement of the air of the room varies what the viewer sees. It was sold for the exit in this case, € 140,000.

8. ile de bréhat, côtes du nord, le port e la plage (o / l, 89 x 130 cm, 1973), bernard buffet: € 130,000

BUFFET, BERNARD (July 10, 1928 – October 4, 1999). Ile de Bréhat, Côtes du Nord, Le Port e la Plage, 1973. 89 x 130 cm). Auction price: 130,000 euros (October 25, Balclis)

Its starting price was € 80,000, which seems to have been more than enough attractive for several bidders that amounted to € 130,000, in the absence of adding taxes and commissions. A great attractive format and at the same time decorative, more than enough to find a price of similar condition.

9. Oculto (o / l, 185 x 134 cm, 1979), josé guerrero: € 130,000

GUERRERO, JOSÉ (Granada, October 27, 1914 – Barcelona, December 23, 1991). Oculto, 1979. 185 x 134 cm. Auction price: 130,000 euros (December 28 and 29, Fernando Durán)

One of the main protagonists of the Fernando Durán auction on December 28 and 29. Being as it was a large format, with excellent quality and a suitable composition, it was not strange that it came out with previous offers that amounted to € 130,000, price in which it was finally awarded since there were no greater offers in the room.

10. martirio de san baudilio (t / t, 152.5 x 102 cm), Luis dalmau: € 125,000

DALMAU, LUIS (1428-1461). Martirio de san Baudilio. 152.5 x 102 cm. Auction price: € 125,000 (May 31, Balclis)

And finally, we see the table Martirio de San Baudilio by Lluis Dalmau, one of the sales that more queue has brought this last year. It was awarded to the State for € 125,000, an amount that was donated by the Palarq Foundation, by Antonio Gallardo, automatically donated to the MNAC (National Art Museum of Catalonia) funds. It belonged previously to the altarpiece of San Baudilio, and was put in relation with the Virgin of the Consellers by Ruiz i Quesada, table that already belonged to the MNAC.

Sources: websites of Balclis (, Fernando Duran (, Abalarte (, Segre (, Goya ( and Ars Magazine (

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