Sunday, December 14, 2008

Great Filipino Painters of All Time - Carlos "Botong" Francisco


Education - mural (1964)

Muslim Wedding (1958)

Rajah Soliman

Mangingisda (Fishermen) - (1957)

Lapu- Lapu (1964)

Fiesta With Higantes

The Cockfight

Bayanihan (1962)

Carlos V. Francisco (1914-1969)

In 1973, Carlos “Botong” Francisco was the second Filipino to receive the title of National Artist in Painting, after Fernando C. Amorsolo. Also known as the Poet of Angono, he single-handedly brought back the art of mural painting in the Philippines and was its most distinguished painter in his time. He was on the forefront of modernist art in the country, and with Victorio C. Edades and Galo B. Ocampo became part of “The Triumvirate” of modern art. His is best known for his historical epics, and one of his favorite subjects is fisherfolk. His images of women came from mythology, history, legend, customs and contemporary life.

On November 4, 1914, Francisco was born to Felipe Francisco and Maria Villaluz in Angono, Rizal. He went to college at the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts, and before the Second World War did illustrations for The Tribune and La Vanguardia. Although he came from the same school of arts as Amorsolo, he veered away from the style of the traditional artist and developed a modernist style. Together with Victorio Edades and Fermin Sanchez, he painted for the Manila Grand Opera House and the Clover Theater. He and Edades started mural-painting, and together they formed the Thirteen Moderns, a group of modernists, in 1938.

After the Second World War, he taught at the University of Santo Tomas School of Fine Arts at the same time that he was doing work in cinema with Manuel Conde. He worked as a scriptwriter for films such as “Genghis Khan,” “Putol na Kampilan,” and “Tatlong Labuyo.” In addition, he designed costumes for films such as “Romeo at Julieta,” “Prinsipe Tenoso,” “Ibong Adarna,” “Siete Infantes de Lara,” and the “Juan Tamad” series.

Francisco further enhanced his art in mural painting as he, together with Edades and Ocampo, was commissioned to do several murals for lobbies and private residences. They developed the Filipino imagery in their work, taking images from the customs and traditions of the people. Some of the murals they worked on as a triumvirate are Rising Philippines for the Capitol Theater, murals for the Golden Gate Exposition, the State Theater, and the private residences of President Manuel Quezon, Ernesto Rufino and Vicente Rufino. However, his major masterpiece is the mural he did for the Bulwagang Katipunan of the Manila City Hall.

After Francisco’s death on March 31, 1969, what came to be known as the Botong Francisco School of Painting grew, exemplifying lyricism and heroism.

His major works include:

• 1945 – Kaingin
• 1948 – Fiesta
• 1953 – 50 Years of Philippine History, his first important mural, for the International Fair held in Manila
• 1954 – Life and Miracles of St. Dominic, for Santo Domingo Church
• 1956 – Stations of the Cross, for the Far Eastern University
• 1956 – The Invasion of Limahong
• 1957 – Mangingisda
• 1958 – Muslim Wedding
• 1962 – Bayanihan


• 1948 – 1st Prize, First National Art Exhibition of the Art Association of the Philippines, for Kaingin
• 1964 – Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan, from the City of Manila

Sourced at Cultural Heritage, Phantom Bookshop- Ventura, California

Tags: Great Filipino Painters, National Artist, Carlos "Botong" Francisco, Angono, Rizal, Philippines, National Commission For Culture and the Arts, National Museum of the Philippines, Wikipedia, Pinoy Wikipedia, Great Masters, Philippines

Posted by: Mel Avila Alarilla

Friday, December 12, 2008

Great Filipino Painters of All Time- Vicente Manansala

Vendors From The Marketplace

"Landscape" - Watercolor - 1968

"Untitled" Oil on Canvas - 1978

Prayer Before Meals

Barung-Barung (Houses)

"Nude" - Charcoal on Paper - 1972

Vicente S. Manansala (1910-1981)

Honored as National Artist in Painting in 1981, Vicente S. Manansala is considered the country’s pioneer in Cubism. He was one of the Thirteen Moderns led by Victorio C. Edades, and was one of the Big Three in the modernist movement, along with Cesar Legaspi and H. R. Ocampo. In addition, he formed the group of Neo-Realists together with Romeo Tabuena and Anita Magsaysay-Ho. Manansala developed transparent cubism and his works were done mostly in the figurative mode, reflecting the society and the local environment. He favored the styles of Picasso and Cezanne, and believed that the true beauty of art lay in the process of creating it.

Manansala was born in Macabebe, Pampanga on January 22, 1910. He was the second of the eight children of Perfecto Q. Manansala and Engracia Silva. At the age of 15, he studied under painter Ramon Peralta while doing work painting movie posters at a shop in Manila. He entered the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts in 1926 and graduated in 1930. He continued his studies under a UNESCO grant at the École de Beaux Arts in Banff and Montreal, Canada in 1949, and under a French government scholarship at the École de Beaux Arts in Paris in 1950. His training did not end there. In 1960, he received a grant from the United States to study stained glass techniques in New York. He also trained at the Otis Art Institute in 1967, and received another grant in 1970, this time from Germany, to study in Zurich.

Manansala worked as an illustrator for the Philippines Herald and Liwayway and as a layout artist for Photonews and Saturday Evening News Magazine in the 1930’s. He held his first one-man show at the Manila Hotel in 1951, and then went on to work as a professor at the University of Santo Tomas School of Fine Arts from 1951 to 1958.

Vicente C. Manansala died in Makati in 1981.

His major works include:

• 1940 – Bangkusay Seascape
• 1948 – Banaklaot
• 1950 – Madonna of the Slums
• 1951 – Jeepneys
• 1967 – Reclining Mother and Child

He also painted several historical murals including:

• Stations of the Cross for UP Diliman Chapel
• Mural for Philippine Heart Center
• Fresco mural for the National Press Club


• 1941 – 1st Prize, National Art Exhibition, UST, for Pounding Rice
• 1950 – 1st Prize, Manila Grand Opera House Exhibition, for Barong-Barong #1
• 1950 – 1st Prize, Art Association of the Philippines First Annual Art Competition, for Banaklaot
• 1953 – 2nd Prize, Art Association of the Philippines, for Kahig (Scratch)
• 1955 – 2nd Prize, Art Association of the Philippines, for Fish Vendors
• 1955 – 3rd Prize, Art Association of the Philippines, for Best-Served, Well-Gained
• 1957 – Outstanding UP Alumnus
• 1962 – 2nd Prize, Art Association of the Philippines, for Give Us This Day
• 1962 – Best in Show, Art Association of the Philippines, for Give Us This Day
• 1963 – Republic Cultural Heritage Award
• 1970 – Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award, from the City of Manila

From Various Sources including Kulay Diwa Gallery of Philippine Contemporary Art

Tags: Great Filipino Painters, Vicente Manansala, Cubism, Filipino Artist, Outstanding Painter, Multi Awarded, Philippines, Filipino Arts, Proud to be Pinoy

Posted by: Mel Avila Alarilla

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Great Filipino Painters of All Time - Fernando Amorsolo (Batch 2)

Sunday Market, Baguio

Banawe Rice Terraces

Water Carrier

Bombing of Intendencia

Lavanderas (Laundrywomen)

Woman With Banga (Woman With Jar)

Tinikling in Barrio

Batch 2 of The Great Masterpieces of Fernando Amorsolo

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

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