Artist Felix Hidalgo’s 'La Pintura' sold for ₱78 million

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 5) – ‘La Pintura,’ a 19th century painting of a woman standing in front of an unfinished canvass, was sold at an auction for ₱78 million, from its starting price of ₱18 million, making it the most expensive work of Filipino artist Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo.

Hidalgo won a silver medal at the Madrid Exposition of Fine Arts in 1884 for La Pintura, Spanish for ‘the painting,’ which had been in Spain with the heirs of Don Jose Vazquez Castiñeira. It was last seen in public in 1893. The art piece only came to the country only after 130 years, Richie Lerma, Salcedo Auction’s chairman and chief specialist said.

The iconic oil on canvas was sold at the “The Well Appointed Life” auction held at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Peninsula Manila in Makati City.

The bidding lasted for only nine minutes and had four contenders, Lerma said.

The lady in the art piece was believed to be Nellie Boustead, the half-Filipino and half-British woman whom national hero Jose Rizal almost married and Antonio Luna liked, Lerma added.

“While there is no documentation that it is in indeed her, several photographs and letters from the period show that indeed Boustead, Hidalgo, Luna, and Rizal were in the same expatriate circle and that she was a recipient of their collective admiration,” Lerma said.