Thursday, November 27, 2008

Great Filipino Painters of All Time - Fernando Amorsolo

Rice Harvest (Threshing)

Returning Fisherman


Harvest Time


Pagsanjan Falls

Fernando Amorsolo (The Greatest Filipino Painter)

The Philippine artist Fernando Amorsolo (1892-1972) was a portraitist and painter of rural land scapes. He is best known for his craftsmanship and mastery in the use of light.

Fernando Amorsolo was born May 30, 1892, in the Paco district of Manila. At 13 he was apprenticed to the noted Philippine artist Fabian de la Rosa, his mother's first cousin. In 1909 Amorsolo enrolled at the Liceo de Manila and then attended the fine-arts school at the University of the Philippines, graduating in 1914. After working three years as a commercial artist and part-time instructor at the university, he studied at the Escuela de San Fernando in Madrid. For seven months he sketched at the museums and on the streets of Madrid, experimenting with the use of light and color. That winter he went to New York and discovered the works of the postwar impressionists and cubists, who became the major influence on his works. On his return to Manila, he set up his own studio.

During this period, Amorsolo developed the use of light - actually, backlight - which is his greatest contribution to Philippine painting. Characteristically, an Amorsolo painting contains a glow against which the figures are outlined, and at one point of the canvas there is generally a burst of light that highlights the smallest detail.

During the 1920s and 1930s Amorsolo's output of paintings was prodigious. In 1939 his oil Afternoon Meal of the Workers won first prize at the New York World's Fair. During World War II Amorsolo continued to paint. The Philippine collector Don Alfonso Ongpin commissioned him to execute a portrait in absentia of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, which he did at great personal risk. He also painted Japanese occupation soldiers and self-portraits. His wartime paintings were exhibited at the Malacanang presidential palace in 1948. After the war Amorsolo served as director of the college of fine arts of the University of the Philippines, retiring in 1950. Married twice, he had 13 children, five of whom became painters.

Amorsolo was noted for his portraits. He made oils of all the Philippine presidents, including the revolutionary leader Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, and other noted Philippine figures. He also painted many wartime scenes, including Bataan, Corner of Hell, and One Casualty.

Amorsolo, who died in 1972, is said to have painted more than 10,000 pieces. He continued to paint even in his late 70s, despite arthritis in his hands. Even his late works feature the classic Amorsolo tropical sunlight. He said he hated "sad and gloomy" paintings, and he executed only one painting in which rain appears.

Sourced: Biographies -

Tags: Great Filipino Painters, Fernando Amorsolo, Philippines, Arts, Great Artists, Filipiniana

Posted by: Mel Avila Alarilla

Friday, November 21, 2008

Great Filipino Painters of All Time- Juan Luna

The Spoliarium

Juan Luna (Self Portrait)

Juan Luna y Novicio (October 23, 1857December 7, 1899) was a Filipino painter in the late 19th century.

Early life

He was born in Badoc, Ilocos Norte, Philippines, the third child of seven children. He is a descendant of the Cala Family of the Philippines. Luna obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Ateneo Municipal de Manila in 1874. He showed artistic promise early on and was encouraged to take up painting and traveled to Rome to study the masters. He settled in Paris and married Maria de la Paz, a prominent Filipina from the Mestizaje family of Pardo de Tavera. In a rage over his suspicion of infidelity on the part of his wife, he mercilessly shot her and her mother to death in September 1892. Tried by a French court and subsequently convicted in 1893, he was sentenced to pay the victims' immediate kin but one franc each for their loss, as the court had deemed the murders a crime of passion. In 1894, Luna returned to the Philippines after an absence of almost 20 years.

His most famous piece, The Spoliarium, for which he won gold prize at the 1884 Madrid Exposition, is currently in the National Museum in Manila.

Upon his return to the Philippines, he was arrested two years later under suspicion of sedition. He was later pardoned. His brother, General Antonio Luna, was an active participant in the insurgent Katipunan movement.

In 1898, after the United States defeated Spain in the Spanish-American War, the fledgling Philippine Republic appointed him as a delegate to the Paris convention and to Washington, D.C. to help gain recognition of Philippine sovereignty and independence.

Luna died of heart failure in Hong Kong on December 7, 1899. He was rushing home from Europe after hearing of his brother’s assassination by members of the Katipunan. Luna was buried at the San Agustin Church in Intramuros.

Sourced at WIKIPEDIA

Tags: Great Filipino Painters of All Time, Juan Luna, The Spoiliarium, Philippines, Pearl of the Orient Seas, Filipiniana

Posted by: Mel Avila Alarilla

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Timeless Masterpieces of The Great Masters- El Greco

The Holy Trinity (1577-1579)

The Assumption of The Virgin (1577-1579)

The Modena Triplych (1568) Tempera on panel

The Opening of The Fifth Seal (1608-1614)

View of Toledo (c. 1596-1600)

The Burial of Count Orgaz (1586-1588)

El Greco

El Greco (1541- April 7, 1614) was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. He usually signed his paintings in Greek letters with his full name Domenicos Theotokopoulos underscoring his Greek origin. El Greco was born in Crete which was at that time part of the Republic of Venice and the center of Post-Byzantine art. El Greco received his initial training as an icon painter of the Cretan school.

In 1570, El Greco moved to Rome where he executed a series of works strongly marked by his Venetian apprenticeship. Unlike other Cretan artists who had moved to Venice, El Greco substantially altered his style and sought to distinguish himself by inventing new and unusual interpretations of traditional religious subject matter. In 1577, El Greco emigrated first to Madrid, then to Toledo, where he produced his mature works.

The primacy of imagination and intuition over the subjective character of creation was a fundamental principle of El Greco's style. El Greco discarded classical criteria such as measure and proportion. He believed that grace is the supreme quest of art, but the painter achieves grace only if he manages to solve the most complex problems with obvious ease. El Greco regarded color as the most important and the most ungovernable element of painting and declared that color had primacy over form. He died on April 7, 1614.

Tags: Timeless Masterpieces, Great Masters, El Greco, Post-Byzantine Art, Spanish Rennaisance, Greece, Venice, Rome, Crete, Madrid, Toledo, Spain, Icon

Posted by: Mel Avila Alarilla

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