VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Untitled (Palay Maiden)
FA-92-296
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

A closer look at this work will reveal brush strokes executed with the ease of a virtuoso. The featured painting is considered a masterpiece for the subtlety of its encoded messages, which, in this case, has been described as national pride. In stark contrast to the increasing westernization of the urban capital Manila, this work is a celebration of the pristine, rural Philippine countryside. The scene is bathed in sunlight and features a country maiden. This work is a fine example of this National Artist’s favorite subject and setting. Amorsolo notes, “My conception of an ideal Filipina beauty is one with a rounded face, not of the oval type... The eyes should be exceptionally lively… The nose should be of the blunt form but firm and strongly marked… The ideal Filipino beauty should have a sensuous mouth…not…white-complexioned, nor of the dark brown color…but of the clear skin…which we often witness when we meet a blushing girl.” For Amorsolo, the Filipino beauty was an important symbol of national identity. The colors of the Philippine flag are evident in the blue kerchief, red skirt, and white blouse. The subject gazes directly at the viewer, holding a generous bundle of newly harvested rice, a hope-filled moment for the young Philippines.

History of the Object
Fernando Amorsolo studied painting at the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts and was among its first graduates. He created numerous studies and sketches and kept a photographic file of his paintings. The Philippine countryside was his source book of images. Like the Impressionists, he showed scenes in varied conditions of light and like the Realists, he painted country folk going about their daily tasks with simplicity and honesty. This artwork has been exhibited many times at the Ayala Museum and its image published in many publications. Notable exhibitions are Ayala Museum’s Fernando, Fernando (2000), inaugural exhibit Pioneers of Philippine Art (2004) and Ayala Museum’s first international exhibition featuring its fine arts collection, Pioneers of Philippine Art: Luna Amorsolo Zobel at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California (2006).

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Type
Painting 
Materials
Oil on canvas 
Measurements
Width 60.3 cm. Length 85.5 cm.  
Creator name
Fernando Cueto Amorsolo (1892 – 1972) 
Creator date
1892-1972 
Where it was made
Philippines; Manila 
Geography
Philippines 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th Century; 1920 
Function
Painting 
Acquisition
Purchased in 1992 
Copyright
This photograph and information pertaining to the artwork pictured herein may be used only once and only for the purpose of the Virtual Collection of Masterpieces (VCM) project. The image may not be cropped or manipulated. Credits (title of artwork, artist, collection/owner, and Ayala Museum) should always be included when publishing this photograph. 
Acknowledgements
References: Capistrano – Baker, et al. Pioneers of Philippine Art: Luna, Amorsolo, Zobel Transnationalism in the late 19th – 20th Century. Manila: Ayala Foundation Inc., 2006. Paras-Perez, et al. Pioneers of Philippine Art: Luna, Amorsolo, Zobel. Manila: Ayala Foundation Inc., 2004. Villanueva, Rene. The Boy who Lost a Father and Found the Sun, The Life of Maestro Fernando Amorsolo. Manila: Ayala Foundation Inc., 2006. 
Owner
Ayala Museum 
Museum
Ayala Museum 
Credit line
Ayala Museum collection 

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