Salcedo Auctions explores man’s quest for beauty in its auction this September 21-22, 2019 titled, “The Well-Appointed Life.” The auction at The Peninsula Manila brings together works of great masters like Juan Luna, Jose Joya, and Vicente Manansala. This month’s auction takes on a feminist angle, inviting guests to contemplate the beauty and mystery of the artworks created over the years. Among the highlights is “La Pintura” of Félix Resurrección Hidalgo. The fascinating painting depicts a woman turned away from the viewer, her entire identity a point of intrigue for the audiences.
Beyond form and figure
The Well-Appointed Life of Salcedo Auctions this year takes on a feminist angle. Most of the works to be featured and up for bidding depict different portrayals of women. Among the prized possessions is “La Pintura” of Félix Resurrección Hidalgo. The painting came from the descendants of Don Jose Vazquez Castiñeira from Spain and came to the country only after 130 years. The artwork portrays a woman standing in front of an unfinished canvas. Hidalgo highlights the femininity of the subject with his French impressionist style featuring soft brush strokes and pastel hues.
While most portrayals of women in artworks focus on their form and figure, La Pintura stirs up intrigue through the identity of the subject. The woman’s position makes her unknown to the audience. Women in the early times do not hold the same privilege and rights to take on different professions as men. With the woman in La Pintura, she seems to be a professional artist with her ramrod posture. Yet the striking bow that loosely gathers her hair adds a casual yet graceful aura. It suggests that painting might also be a simple hobby. Theories say she may be Nelly Boustead, a possible muse or source of inspiration of Hidalgo. Her identity is unknown yet it is certain that the painting is captivating, a point of mystery.
Amidst the great masters
The work of Hidalgo accompanies other artworks of great masters like National Artist Jose Joya, Juan Luna, and Vicente Manansala. Joya’s 1960 oil on board work uses lush, bright colors, evoking a sense of modernity. Likewise, Manansala incorporates abstract elements with his cubism style to depict a market scene in colorful hues. Local everyday life is also shown in the watercolor painting of Luna titled “Venezia” that uses Costumbrism. This is a style depicting daily life and customs, especially in the 19th century.
Modern artworks complete the set of auctioned pieces this year. Ronson Culibrina parodies Luna’s “The Parisian Life” with “C’est La Vie.” In place of a sophisticated, well-dressed woman is an unclad person with smudges of different expressions for the face. The three gentlemen at the table beside the woman in Luna’s painting is replaced with famed fast-food restaurant icons: Jollibee, Ronald McDonald, and Colonel Sanders. The artwork is truly an amusing novelty among the classic masterpieces.
The preview of the artworks starts on September 13-20, 2019, at 10 am-6pm at the Upper Lobby of the Peninsula Manila and at the flagship headquarters at the NEX Tower along Ayala Avenue. To view the catalog, visit salcedoauctions.com.
Photos from Salcedo Auctions