A Recently Discovered Hidalgo Painting and More Philippine Art Pieces Could Be Yours
Félix Resurrección Hidalgo is a familiar name in Philippine art. The impressionist was one of the greatest Filipino painters of the 19th century and his works are still highly sought after to this day. Alongside his contemporary Juan Luna, Hidalgo won at the National Exposition of Fine Arts in Madrid in 1884 with his "Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacho" (Christian Virgins Exposed to the Populace).
At the time, the Hidalgos were privileged art patrons, and Félix himself was an ilustrado who pursued education overseas and eventually set up his own studio in Paris. His largest known work is the "El Asesinato del Gobernador Bustamante" (The Assassination of Governor Bustamante), which is displayed right across Luna’s "Spoliarium" at the National Museum in Manila.
One of Hidalgo’s paintings, titled "Marina," is the highlight of Salcedo Auctions' 10th-anniversary auction, The Well-Appointed Life, which will be held online on September 18, 2021. Two collections will auctioned off: the Connoisseur Collection at 11 a.m., and Important Philippine Art in the afternoon.
"Marina" was recently verified to be Hidalgo's work through a 1926 invoice of the painting. Salcedo Auctions explains that it was issued when it was purchased for 2,500 francs from Feuardent Frères by Madame Maria Luisa Gálatas Vallejo, who owned it until 1958. The painting is oil on canvas and measures 81 x 100 centimeters. It presents a landscape of the sea with the waves in motion, somehow about to reach the cliffside rocks, a skyline of an almost purplish hue, and sunlight breaking toward the water. Salcedo Auctions describes the light as, “like arms stretched out benevolently from the heavens, reaching downwards to calm the waves.”
While this rare Hidalgo masterpiece is surely the most anticipated lot, an unearthed "Study for Detail of ‘La Barca de Aqueronte’" (charcoal on paper) is also included in the auction. Other highlight pieces in the Important Philippine Art collection include Fernando Amorsolo’s "Lavanderas" (1955, oil on canvas), H.R. Ocampo’s "Excursion to Pinaglabanan" (1975, oil on canvas), Jose Joya’s Blue Harbor (1966, oil on wood), and Federico Aguilar Alcuaz’s "Autumnal Flower" (1962, oil on canvas).
Tasteful and elegant curation, no matter your interior design preference, is simply a must after attending an auction. For The Well-Appointed Life: The Worlds We Create, the auction house, with the help of artist Patrick Chato, took inspiration from iconic TV shows and movies, reimagining settings with selected auction pieces to emphasize your luxurious acquisition. Consider these possibilities:
This European Vision
While your next European trip might not happen for a while, your quarantine plans can include channeling the Duke of Hastings in his estate with Salcedo Auction’s Euro Glam vision as seen on shows like Downton Abbey, Bridgerton, and The Crown. Create your version of a genteel classical setting, one where a Hidalgo masterpiece fits the scene.
Félix Resurrección Hidalgo’s "Study for Detail of ‘La Barca de Aqueronte'" (undated, charcoal on paper) depicts two condemned souls trying to escape their fate in a Dante’s Inferno-inspired masterpiece. With one look, visitors can tell a story of their own. Starting bid P750,000.
Romulo Galicanos "Summer Afternoon Along the Shore" (2021, oil on canvas) adds a touch of vibrancy with nature, giving you scenery while lounging indoors. Starting bid P240,000.
An exquisite solid ivory Niño Dormido (18th century, Manila ivory, polychrome, glass eyes, glass virina, and assorted ornaments) looks almost too beautiful to touch. Even those who aren’t devout Catholics will be compelled to worship this eye-catching work of craftsmanship. Starting bid P750,000.
Observe this inlaid four-post comoda (19th century, Betis, Pampanga) with a fine narra top and kamagong features). Many of the famed Pampanga master’s works from the Spanish colonization era didn’t survive the wrath of Mt. Pinatubo, but this has retained its beauty and functionality. Starting bid P350,000.
This Mid-Century Mood
Let’s be real, Mad Men is probably the first thing to cross your mind when you think of the '60s, all for its revival of the style in that decade: modernist with an homage to nostalgia. Simple, elegant, and eye-catching—could be you, could be your living room.
Herman Miller’s "Nelson Marshmallow Sofa" with MCL leather finish in black is an iconic masterpiece designed by Irving Harper for George Nelson. It went on to become a recognized piece of the Pop Art style that was prominent in the '60s. Even in a neutral color, the illusion of floating discs creates a sitting area that stands out. Starting bid P350,000.
Justin Nuyda’s "Mindscape search: Untitled" (2005, oil on board) is a thought-provoking yet calming piece due to the surrealistic deep-sea hues and Nuyda’s command of smooth motions. Starting bid P600,000.
Arturo Luz's "Juggler" (1991, acrylic collage) is the National Artist’s play on luminescence using basic shapes and lines to illustrate juggling for his Circus Performers series. The balance is oddly satisfying, as well as the rust-colored background and the tone it sets in a room. Starting bid P2,800,000.
Rodel Tapaya’s "White Tikbalang" (2009, mixed media) is proof that you can never have enough art pieces in a room, especially if it’s a diorama that is in a retablo-like structure. It represents a Philippine folklore scene made complete by a tikbalang (half-horse, half-human) lurking on the side as two men ride a boat. Salcedo Auctions noted the message of this piece being, “the allegory of man's destruction of forests and the rapid urbanization of the various Philippine indigenous areas, bridging the gap between traditional belief and current reality.” Starting bid 300,000.
Salcedo Auctions has imagined more interior themes like the '70s, Industrial, or Contemporary, all featuring auction pieces ready for bidding.
To register or learn more about the auction, visit the Salcedo Auctions website here.