1960 René Portocarrero "Catedral" Oil Painting

Value (2018) | $80,000 Retail$100,000 Retail
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GUEST:
I have a friend that was in the diplomatic service, and she served in Cuba in '59 to '61.

APPRAISER:
Okay.

GUEST:
She acquired this painting in Portocarrero's studio...

APPRAISER:
Oh.

GUEST:
She bought it from the artist himself. And when she died, I inherited the painting.

APPRAISER:
The painting is dated here "'60," so it was a contemporary piece...

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
…at that time. Do you know what she paid for it?

GUEST:
I do not know.

APPRAISER:
Yeah. René Portocarrero, a Cuban artist, he started at an academy but found the art school much too confining, so it's amazing what he's accomplished. Aside from painting, he also did sculpture, book illustrations...

GUEST:
Yeah, yes.

APPRAISER:
...ceramics, and murals. And apparently in Cuba today, you can see his murals at the Havana prison, at the national hospital, the national theater, and other places. So he was certainly well-rounded and well-accomplished.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
Although he was born and eventually died in Havana in 1986, he did travel some. He was in the United States and in Europe. And in fact, in 1945, he was in an exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York, and that was a very important gallery for abstract and modernist artists of the time. He was also very well-connected. He knew Peggy Guggenheim, he was friendly with Wilfredo Lam, the well-known Cuban artist, and he even met with Castro in 1961.

GUEST:
Oh, really?

APPRAISER:
They had conversation about the culture, what was going on with culture in Cuba...

GUEST:
That's interesting.

APPRAISER:
That was very interesting.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
Especially, it was also the year of the Bay of Pigs. He certainly was well-accomplished, and his work is in numerous museums. This piece is a classic example of his colorful abstract pieces. This is oil on canvas, and you'll see that it also has wonderful impasto, they're just such thick layers of paint. The painting itself is signed, dated, and inscribed with the title on the back. And in English, it's called "The Cathedral." And you can certainly see, it's this window here, and the columns, and so, it's an abstracted image of a cathedral. If this were in a gallery, it'd be priced in the range of $80,000 to $100,000.

GUEST:
Oh, my gosh.

APPRAISER:
It's quite a picture.

GUEST:
Wow, it's wonderful.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Debra Force Fine Art, Inc.
Debra Force Fine Art, Inc.
New York, NY
Update (2018)
$80,000 Retail$100,000 Retail
Appraised value (2015)
$80,000 Retail$100,000 Retail
Event
Charleston, SC (August 08, 2015)

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