Appraisal Video: (2:49)
President and Owner
Castle Fine Arts, Inc.
GUEST: This is a painting that I got from my grandmother, and she got it in the Philippines. She lived in the Philippines during the '30s. My grandfather was, uh, interred by the Japanese when they came in in the '40s there, and she got out. She came back to pick him up, and, uh, they stayed there till about '48, when he died, and that's when she got this painting.
APPRAISER: Do you know if she was able to buy it from the artist?
GUEST: Yeah, she bought it from Mr. Amorsolo. She lived up in Baggio, and, uh, I guess he was a painter from that area. When I was a kid, she'd tell me that he was a well-respected artist from the Philippines, and... I always loved it, and that's why she gave it to me when she died.
APPRAISER: Well, it certainly is a very important painting. He is an important artist. As you mentioned, this painting is by Fernando Amorsolo. He was born in Manila in 1892, and he studied art as a youngster, went to an art school academy in Manila and graduated in 1914. And after that, he went to Spain for three years and studied art and loved to wander the streets of Spain looking at the light and the effect of heat, and he sketched a great deal, and after that, around 1917, 1918, he moved to New York for a brief period, and when he was in New York, he was influenced by the post-war impressionist paintings, seeing the abstract work and their use of light and brush strokes. And so he employed much of that in his work, came back to, uh, the Philippines around 1920 and opened his own studio. And he's very famous for doing these genre scenes, these nature scenes. You can really feel the heat of the Manila midday with these, uh, fruit pickers under the tree, and the highlight on this lady's scarf and on her shoulders here, to show again the wonderful use of light that he was a master of.
APPRAISER: Uh... wonderful brush strokes, a very nice painting, and signed and dated--1948-- and it's important, because later in his years, in the late 1960s, he began going blind, and his later paintings are not as well done, because he couldn't see as well, obviously.
APPRAISER: So you'll find that his works from the '60s onward become a bit fuzzier, they're a bit more indistinct. But these earlier works from '48 are very much collectable. Have you learned anything about the price, the value of this work?
GUEST: Well, after my grandmother died, I wanted to find out, so I went to an appraiser here in L.A., and he gave me an appraisal of about 4,000 bucks and offered me $2,000.
APPRAISER: This is a major work, and at auction it would be estimated in the range of $25,000 to $35,000.
GUEST: Oh, man. (chuckles) I'm glad I didn't take $4,000, or $2,000. How cool.