SANTA FE, N.M. – Santa Fe Art Auction will conduct its first-ever online sale of Spanish Colonial and Hispanic Arts on Sunday, Feb. 24. The auction is composed of Latin American Colonial artworks alongside 20th-century pieces by the most renowned artists working in traditional Northern New Mexico genres of bultos, retablos and devotional art – more than 100 lots. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
The Blessed Virgin is well represented in the auction’s large selection of devotional art. Bearing the highest estimate, $12,000-$15,000, is a Cuzco School oil on canvas painting of Mary with her parents (above). The Cuzco School was a Roman Catholic artistic tradition based in Cusco, Peru – the former capital of the Inca Empire – during the Colonial period, in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. It was not limited to Cusco only, but spread to other cities in the Andes, as well as to present-day Ecuador and Bolivia.
Another fine Cuzco School work is the Virgen del Carmen con Nino, an early 19th-century oil on canvas depicting the Mary and the Christ Child surrounded by saints and angels (below). This large artwork has an $8,000-$10,000 estimate.
A modern take on the Madonna and Christ Child is a 21-inch-tall polychrome wood statue by Horacio Valdez (1929-1992). The work is inscribed, “NUESTRA SENORA / HV 10/20/84 / DE TALPA.” A carpenter by trade, the New Mexico native carved the statue 10 years after he had a career-ending job accident, which crushed his right hand. Valdez began carving “just to pass the time.” A self-taught carver and painter, Valdez was a devoutly religious man. Among the prolific artist’s many carvings were more than 250 crucifixes.
Several other saints are depicted in a half-dozen carved bultos.
Works having secular themes are also featured in the auction, including 10 folk art animals. One of the critters is a 16-inch-tall squirrel carved by 1985 by Felipe Archuleta (1910-1991), who is considered to be the founding father of the non-santero wood-carving tradition in New Mexico.
An unusual but beautiful artwork in the auction is an embroidered picture depicting a party outside a hacienda. The early- to mid-19th-century framed work measures 21¾ by 24 inches.
Located in the heart of the city’s historic downtown, and organized in conjunction with the Gerald Peters Gallery, the Santa Fe Art Auction is the Southwest’s premier auction house for classic and contemporary Western art. Serving an international profile of clients, and complemented by Santa Fe’s diverse culture, appealing weather and world-class dining and lodging, the Santa Fe Art Auction brings together buyers and sellers of Western art amid the natural beauty of the region.
Santa Fe Art Auction’s sale of Spanish Colonial and Hispanic Arts will be held Sunday, Feb. 24, beginning at 1 p.m. Mountain time/ 3 p.m. Eastern.