Velázquez Portrait of Spanish Queen Isabel de Borbón won’t be a part of Sotheby’s digital auction, released on December 21. Previously expected to sell and break previous painter’s records, the painting got covertly pulled from Sotheby’s sale in New York. Overall, the owners of the pieces decided to withdraw it from the sale due to “ongoing discussions” about the painting.
Velázquez Pieces Rarely Go on Open Auctions
A family personal estate possessed the work of art since 1978. Although there are rumours that a US museum possibly made a proposal, Sotheby’s refuses to address the matter. The auction house established the 1620s picture at $35 million for its next Old Master sale on February 1. The portrait of Isabel de Borbon may have something in common with a well-known Velázquez picture of her husband Philip IV.
The Prado in Madrid holds the painting of Philip IV. Upon Napoleon‘s invasion in 1808, it was removed from the Spanish royal treasury located in Madrid. Later, showed up in a prestigious collection in France in 1838. Henry Huth, a British financier and book collector, eventually acquired it.
Before the piece’s most recent auction in 1950, his ancestors owned it. Excellent Velázquez pieces rarely come up for sale at open auctions and typically reside in monarch or museum holdings. This uniqueness is reflected in the excellent preservation as well as the price tag.
Get the latest articles delivered to your inboxSign up to our Free Weekly Newsletter
A Temporary Pause in the Sale Process
The piece, if sold, would more than quadruple the existing bidding benchmark of $16.9 million set by the Spanish painter from the 17th century. The estimated price of Isabel de Borbon’s portrait was $35 million.
The consignors, the auction house said in a statement, “have reluctantly decided on a temporary pause in the sale process, due to ongoing discussions on their side”. Despite this, however, and “given the excitement with which the Velázquez has been received thus far”, Sotheby’s said both sides “look forward to offering this exceptional painting for sale in the near future”.
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, Knight of the Order of Santiago (baptized 6 June 1599 – 6 August 1660) was a Spanish painter, the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV of Spain and Portugal, and of the Spanish Golden Age. He was an individualistic artist of the Baroque period (c. 1600–1750). He began to paint in a precise tenebrist style, later developing a freer manner characterized by bold brushwork.