Diego Velázquez (1599-1660)
Oil on canvas - 77.2 x 64.6 cm
Photo : Sotheby’s London
6/07/2007 — Acquisition — Seville, Focus-Abengoa Foundation — Saint Rufina by Velázquez (ill.) up for auction July 4 in London (see News of June 9, 2007) was acquired by a Foundation in Seville, created by Abengoa, a company specialized in waste management and renewable energy production. With this purchase, Spanish institutions, both public and private, once again prove their incredible vitality in the arts field.
We had not viewed yet the painting when we published the News item mentioned above. Its condition is less than perfect, a fact which did not keep it from reaching a record amount for the artist at a price of £8.42 million (that is 12.47 million €, with charges) making it the most expensive Spanish painting ever sold at auction.
According to Anabel Morillo Leon who directs the foundation : « the city and the foundation agreed to work together for 75 years in promoting Velázquez. This agreement will result in the building of a center that will house the artist’s works, including Santa Rufina and The Virgin Giving San Ildefonso the Chasuble  , as well as a library and research center for this painter who means so much to the people of Seville. » Let us remember that the second of these two paintings, along with the former which has just been purchased, is the only Velázquez work now held by the Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla.