Published: July 24, 2023
SANTA FE, N.M. — “New Mexico Now,” Santa Fe Art Auction’s annual sale of artwork representing New Mexico’s diverse heritage of Pueblo, Hispanic and Native American arts, presented 291 lots on July 22, featuring the work of historic to contemporary santeros in bultos, retablos and paintings, as well as furniture, folk art, textiles and more. Topping the event was a Mexican School portrait of a Spanish Colonial lady, which more than doubled its high estimate to sell for $13,420, including buyer’s premium. Depictions of women in Spanish colonial portraiture were uncommon prior to the Eighteenth Century, becoming an increasingly popular subject for painters of the Spanish Colonial and Mexican schools during the 1700s. This painting, “Portrait of a Spanish Colonial Lady,” the catalog notes, is “a wonderful example of this style of portraiture featuring a female subject, blending conventions of European portrait painting with the bold, inventive colors and style associated with Mexican painting.” The three-quarter length portrait of an elaborately dressed young woman adorned with jewels, a beaded, feathered hairstyle and a red dress with lace and ribbon embellishments does not identify the subject. Her extravagant clothing and jewelry, however, suggest that she was a part of the wealthy colonial class. More on this sale to come later.
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