Antipolo Fiesta, 1947
Oil on canvas (51 x 76 inches) -- Evelyn S. Dy Collection
Fernando Amorsolo y Cueto (May 30, 1892 – April 24, 1972) is one of the most important artists in the history of painting in the Philippines. Amorsolo was a portraitist and painter of rural Philippine landscapes. He is popularly known for his craftsmanship and mastery in the use of light. Born in Paco, Manila, he earned a degree from the Liceo de Manila Art School in 1909. During his lifetime, Amorsolo was married twice and had 14 children. In 1916, he married Salud Jorge, with whom he had six children. After Jorge's death in 1931, Amorsolo married Maria del Carmen Zaragoza, with whom he had eight children. Among her daughters are Sylvia Amorsolo Lazo and Luz Amorsolo. Five of Amorsolo's children became painters themselves. This oil painting on canvas depicts a rural scene where a group of people are shown celebrating a fiesta in Antipolo. The main focus is on a pair of dancers in the field surrounded by revelers both young and old. Abundant food is presented in basketfuls of assorted fruits on the benches and on the ground, as well as the traditional roasted pig or lechon being prepared by two men. Nearby is a house with huge windows from where dwellers watch the revelers. At the background is a huge church, a symbolic town structure. A vast number of townsmen complete the essence of a fiesta. It can be said that the pair of dancers are in the usual same pose as those of dancers in Fernando Amorsolo’s various well-known tinikling-related paintings. A viewer may be quick to surmise at a glance that this painting belongs to that category, as the bamboo handlers in the usual tinikling dance often blend in the crowd and are not easily distinguished. However, there are no bamboo-handlers present in this painting simply because the dancers are not performing the tinikling dance. Thus, this indication is what makes this painting very unique.