Published: June 3, 2008
Rufino Tamayo’s “Trovador (The Troubadour),” which achieved $7,209,000 at Christie’s May 28 Latin American art sale, more than doubled the previous world auction record for the artist and eclipsed the previous record for the category, held by Frida Kahlo’s “Roots,” which sold for $5,616,000 in May 2006.
According to Virgilio Garza, head of Latin American art, the historic sale “demonstrated the vitality and continued ascent of the Latin American art market, showing vigorous demand from international collectors.”
The Tamayo masterpiece, unseen by the public for more than 40 years, attracted numerous bidders in the room and on the phone, and when it finally sold, the room erupted into applause.
“Trovador,” 1945, is an iconic work by the artist combining the ideal subject matter of the guitarist with the artist’s signature brilliant palette and scale. The previous record for Tamayo was set at Christie’s in 1993 by the 1955 painting “America (Mural),” which sold for $2,587,500.
“Trovador” was acquired by American collector Stephen C. Clark, who gifted it to Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va., 60 years ago.
A complete review of the sale will appear in a future issue.
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