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Burning Of The Idols by Fernando Amorsolo

Burning Of The Idols (Fernando Amorsolo)

The Burning of the Idols by Fernando Amorsolo is on exhibit at the Ayala Museum in Makati Avenue, Makati City at the Amorsolo Gallery along with several of his other paintings from different time periods such as his Untitled (Nude) painted in 1919, Planting Rice (1922) and Going to Town on Sunday Morning made in 1958. Like the latter painting mentioned (Going to Town on Sunday Morning), the painting Burning of the Idols was made sometime during 1958. It measures 84 x 128 centimeters and was painted using oil on canvas.

The painting is easily classified as representational art. However, some difficulty is encountered in specifying the kind of representational art in which the painting is made. After much debating, it is classified as classicist with a touch of impressionism and romanticism.

Before discussing the painting more fully, a brief description of its creator’s life is needed. The painter, Fernando Amorsolo, was given the title “Grand Old Man of Philippine Art” on January 23, 1969 when the Manila Hilton inaugurated its art center with an exhibit of a selection of his works. In 1973, he was posthumously awarded as the first National Artist.

Amorsolo was born on May 30, 1892 in Paco, Manila. When he was seven months old, his family moved to Daet, Camarines Norte where he would live for his first thirteen years. In 1905, after the death of his father, the family moved back to Manila and stayed in the house of Don Fabian dela Rosa, a well-known painter and Amorsolo’s mother’s first cousin. It is here at Don Fabian’s studio that Amorsolo learned to mix colors and wield a brush. He enrolled at the Liceo de Manila in 1909 but had to drop out after his third year due to lack of means. However, he refused to be discouraged; through odd jobs such as doing postcard sketches for a shop, he was able to enroll and graduate from the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts in 1914. He says that he found his own style by reacting to the influences of the four men under whom he studied: Don Fabian dela Rosa, Don Rafael Enriquez (the first director of the UP School of Fine Arts), Miguel Zaragoza (from whom he learned the use of color), and Toribio Herrera (who advocated anatomical detail and muscle).

In 1917, Amorsolo was offered a one-year fellowship...

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