Tapies painting sold in Spain for 223,630 euros

  • AFP, Madrid
  • |
  • Updated: Mar 31, 2012 14:42 IST

Spanish artist Antoni Tapies.

For the first time since his death in February, a painting by Spanish artist Antoni Tapies was sold Wednesday at an auction that also featured works by Fernando Botero and Pablo Picasso.

The 1956 grey and black abstract painting sold for 223,630 euros ($298,443). It had an asking price of 190,000 euros.

"This work is especially interesting because it dates from when the artist started to experiment with other materials, with soil, with sand," said Paca Astilleros, the director of the Sala Retiro gallery which staged the auction.

She said Tapies, who died in Barcelona on February 6 at the age of 88, "is going to be much more important than he was when he was alive. Future generations are going to understand his work better."

The most expensive item at the Madrid auction was a 1984 painting by Botero called "El Conquistador" which had an asking price of 450,000 euros.

The gallery said it was studying several offers it received for the oil on canvas painting depicting a portly man wearing metal armour and crested helmet as he steps on the face of an Indian while holding a gun in one of his hands.

"It has has very strong symbolism. It sparks strong emotions. Botero is normally much sweeter," said Astillero.

Botero is famous for portrayals of fat figures. A monumental bronze sculpture titled "Dancers" by the 79-year-old Colombian artist was auctioned for more than $1.7 million in New York last year.

A 1894 painting by Spain's Joaquin Sorolla called "Returning from fishing" depicting fishermen using a bull to bring their boat to shore which has been on display at Paris's Musee d'Orsay sold for 153,010 euros.

But a 1905 sketch by Picasso depicting a man on a horse that had an asking price of 28,000 euros did not find a buyer.

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