The works of Fernando Amorsolo, a favorite in art auctions—along with Juan Luna’s—will again figure in León Gallery’s June 10 bidding with four works made before World War II, said to be the artist’s best period.
The Amorsolo lots are among the 145 pieces of artworks and antiques from distinguished provenances that León Gallery has assembled for its upcoming “Spectacular Midyear Auction 2017.”
The oldest of the Amorsolo lots is the 1917 painting on photograph “Igorot,” which was finished two years before he left for Spain. The painting is noteworthy as it does not bear the famous sunlight that Amorsolo would be known for.
But according to the catalogue notes, “his mastery of painting techniques enabled him to create the effect of reflected light within deep shadow, as well as to suggest the texture of flesh.”
The piece has a starting bid of P700,000.
Perhaps a more noteworthy lot is Amorsolo’s “The Princess Urduja,” or “Daughter of a Rajah,” as it was called in a 1939 article in The Philippines Free Press. It was also made during Amorsolo’s early career.
It has a starting price of P2.4 million.
“There had been many similar works sold at auction and in private collections of this particular subject, but none has been earlier than this,” León Gallery owner Ponce de León noted. “This could probably be the earliest Princess Urduja, or perhaps the prototype of the subject from where all others came from.”
Just as eagerly awaited would be the bidding for Amorsolo’s 1917 “Nude Lavandera” (starting bid P1.2 million) and a 1938 “Salambao” (P800,000).
José Pereira, from the “School of Amorsolo,” is represented by two stunning works: one dated 1928, “Harana” (P100,000) from a French collection; and the other, “Harvest” (P300,000) dated 1945, from an English collection.
Other old masters in the bidding are Luna, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, Fabian de la Rosa, and Jorge Pineda.
Solomon Saprid’s 1971 brass sculpture, “Tikbalang,” through the fashioning of metal strips, puts his own interpretation of the mythical being. It has a starting price of P800,000.
Other moderns in the bidding are Sanso, Cesar Zalameda, Anita Magsaysay-Ho, Romeo Tabuena, Ed Castrillo, Ramon Orlina, Gus Albor, Arturo Luz, J. Elizalde Navarro, José Joya, Vicente Manansala, Hernando Ocampo, Cesar Legaspi, Napoleon Abueva, Manuel Baldemor, Romulo Olazo and Mario Parial.
For contemporary works, José John Santos III, Marina Cruz, Andres Barrioquinto Annie Cabigting are all represented by exceptional works.
Santos’ 2006 oil-on-canvas, “Scale for Sale,” which has a starting price of P1.8 million, depicts a woman behind a counter selling scales of justice.
Rendered in embroidery and oil-on-canvas, Cruz’s poetic work, “Where to Plant the Flowers of the Heart,” shows a chemise that has become almost translucent through frequent wearing.
Barrioquinto’s 2016 oil-on-canvas, “All Night Blossoms Fell,” featuring a woman with a head full of butterflies, has a starting bid of P1 million.
One of the foremost conceptual artists, Cabigting explores how art is seen through a variety of angles, as shown in her series of oil on canvas paintings. —CONTRIBUTED
Preview is ongoing until June 9, 9 a.m-7 p.m. at the León Gallery office, Eurovilla 1, Rufino and Legazpi Sts., Legazpi Village, Makati City.
Formal bidding will be held on June 10, 2 p.m.