This Painting Believed to be a Juan Luna Boceto Sells For P73.5 Million
A painting believed to be a
The auction, which also listed Philippine art, fine jewelry
Prior to the bidding, Salcedo Auctions released a statement on the work's authenticity, which stirred a number of debates and discussions. Part of the statement reads:
"Salcedo Auctions now has in its possession email communications from the family that sold 'España y Filipinas' at the Balclis auction in Barcelona in October 2012 under the title 'España
"The emails clearly state that both 'Boceto for Spoliarium' and 'Espana y Filipinas' all form part of a family collection that was inherited from Doña Maria Nuñez Rodriguez, the widow of Don Francisco Vazquez Gayoso, and who Salcedo Auctions had previously identified as the daughter-in-law of Don Jose Vazquez Castiñeira."
Despite its value and its connection to Luna, the usually active cognoscenti seemed to have sat out the bidding. A live bidder lost out to one on the phone, who is rumored to be a taipan.
The hammer price is said to be the highest auction price ever reached by a Luna painting in the Philippines. The painting had attracted attention the past few weeks due to questions about its authenticity. It initially sparked interest because of Luna's signature on the bottom right, though preludes like this one are not usually signed by its artist. What made it even more interesting was the baybayin symbols in the signature.
Lerma said he was also wary of the boceto's color, which is unlike the finished work, which made him investigate its authenticity further.