Amorsolo's Self Portrait

I have been assisting my daughter in doing her school project. It has something to do about Filipino Heroes and Greatest Achievers, in the process of doing this, I have recently renewed mtyinterest in some of the great Filipino people of our history and one of them is Fernando Amorsolo, The first Filipino National Artist...

Let me begin by telling something about the great painter. He was born on May 30, 1892 at Paco Manila as the 3rd in the family of 4 boys. As a young boy he had been tutored at home and was also an apprentice to his Uncle, a painter. He had painted sceneries for postcards and sold it to a local bookstore to make ends meet. He entered the School of Fine Arts in the University of the Philippines in 1909 and was one of the first graduates in 1914. He had went to study further in Spain through the sponsorship of a prominent Filipino, Don Enrique Zobel. Amorsolo have also worked as a draftsman at the Department of Public Works and had taught at his Alma mater and later became the Director of Fine Arts of University of the Philippines until his retirement.

"The Filipina" Fernando Amorsolo

His “Rice Planting” (1922) was a staple of tourist brochures and his style became most sought-after by American soldiers who wanted something uniquely Filipino to bring back home to the United States.

"Rice Planting" Amorsolo (1922)

One such client, Capt. Robert Kennedy, brought home a few Amorsolo pieces and had them framed at the Art Center Gallery in New York. The gallery owners inquired about the artist which led to Amorsolo’s first one-man show in New York. Of the 40 pieces, 24 were immediately purchased.

Amorsolo often uses his family members to pose for his paintings. Mostly his wife and his daughters. At one time, he had made his house helpers pose for him, after posing he had paid them. His daughter asked why did he have to pay them when he is already paying for their salary? He replied, "We have hired them to do housework and not to pose for me, therefore, they should be compensated for posing for my painting".

It is said that he had made over 10,000 pieces in his lifetime. Every painting reflects his mastery in the use of light and his craftsmanship evident in every stroke in his canvasses that describes day to day life of people in the Philippines.

Women are painted with such detail that one could see the love he has for his wife and daughters. His sketches are done randomly of no particular subject. He just draws what he sees. May it be Philippine scenery like the Banaue Rice Terraces and the Pagsanjan Falls, the Rice Harvests and Ladies doing laundry by the lake or the war torn country that he had agonizingly depicted in his drawings.

He had done numerous art exhibits both locally and abroad and always with such a critical acclaim. Due to his popularity, he had sold almost all of his creations and it is very expensive to own one of his works. Those who own Amorsolo pieces are the rich and famous art collectors.

One of his works, the Markang Demonyo, is still used up to this day. It is the design to one of the most popular gin in the Philippines, Ginebra San Miguel Gin.

"Markang Demonyo" Ginebra San Miguel Logo

He had died in 1972 at the age of 79. His sketches and some of his works were divided among his wife and children. He is truly one of the Philippines pride. We are proud of him...

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Post a Comment


Blog Template by Adam Every. Sponsored by Business Web Hosting Reviews