Launch of Remembering Fernando Amorsolo on his 50th death anniversary
A special exhibition at the Museum Foundation of the Philippines Hall (Gallery X)
The #NationalMuseumPH opens a special exhibition on the works of National Artist for Painting Fernando Amorsolo y Cueto (1892-1972).
Inside the Museum Foundation of the Philippines Hall (Gallery X) at the National Museum of Fine Arts is a special exhibition, “Remembering Fernando Amorsolo on his 50th death anniversary.” This gallery features 11 oil paintings of National Artist Fernando Amorsolo from the collection of the Philippine Normal University (PNU), the National Fine Arts Collection (NFAC), and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) which were previously exhibited at the GSIS Northeast Hall (Gallery XX). Also included are two rare oil paintings of his younger brother, Pablo Amorsolo (1898-1945) from the NFAC, which also deserve to be exhibited in this hall alongside his brother’s paintings.
Shown to the public for the first time and one of the main highlights of this exhibition are two noteworthy paintings of Amorsolo from the collection of the Philippine Normal University entitled, “Mother and Child” and “Paoay Church”. These two pre-war works of oil on canvas, completed in 1943 and 1933, respectively, show the mastery of the artist in his use of light and color and were produced during the height of his artistic career. In 2020, the paintings were transferred to the NMP for safekeeping, conservation, and exhibition. The NMP expresses its heartfelt thanks to PNU, represented by its President, Dr. Bert Jazmin Tuga, for its generosity in lending these masterpieces for public appreciation.
Fernando Amorsolo y Cueto was born in Paco, Manila on May 30, 1892. At a young age, he began studying art under his uncle, Fabian de la Rosa, and sold watercolor postcards at a local bookstore for 10 centavos each to help his family. His formal studies in art began at the Liceo de Manila where he gained honors in drawing and painting, after which he enrolled at the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts (UPSFA), becoming one of its first of its graduates in 1919. He also studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, Spain in 1916 through a grant from entrepreneur Enrique Zobel de Ayala. During his training abroad, he acquired the techniques he needed to improve his art further. His style included rapid, fragmented brushwork in impasto, portraying genre scenes, and landscapes of the countryside that he is known for. After his studies, he worked as a draftsman for the Bureau of Public Works, as an artist at the Pacific Commercial Company, as a part-time instructor in UPSFA and later as its director from 1938 until 1952. He was bestowed the official title “Grand Old Man” with the inauguration of Manila Hilton’s art center on January 23, 1969 exhibiting a selection of his works.
Amorsolo passed away on April 24, 1972 at the age of 79 and was posthumously proclaimed as the first National Artist of the Philippines three days after his death.
Visit us after the Lenten Holidays and head on to Gallery X to view this special exhibition. Admission is free and walk-in visitors are accepted.
Text and photos by NMP-FAD© 2022 National Museum of the Philippines