My visit at the National Museum was an enriching one especially the exhibit of indigenous textiles from different parts of the country. I was also amaze on the vibrant colors used in the paintings that captured my attention at first glance — making all eight of them opulent. Among the eight masterpieces, the painting of Rolando Veneracion entitled ‘’Pangarap (Pangitain ni Juan)’’made the most impact to me. It was painted using oil in canvas in 1982 by the painter himself, whom I believe is a very talented man. His painting strongly evokes a strong sense of patriotism during Marcos regime. He decided to use symbolism (e.g., robot, a widow, nude woman and Americans) to embody the public figures at that time — making the piece some sort of creative history book that aims to retell how Marcos fell into power.
Second in my top picks is Celia (1959) in ink on wash pen and ink on paper by Vicente Silva Manansala. I admire both the perfection and flaws of the symmetry in his sketch of Celia — I think it adds more charm for the muse. I believe that the message of this sketch was to simply showcase the beauty of old fashion European women which Celia embodies. Thirdly, is ‘’Pamilya by Vicente Silva Manansala’’ which unlike Celia, exhibits cubism. The painting was made from oil in canvas mounted on wood in 1961. Pamilya showcases the Filipino values of being ‘’makaDiyos’’ and ‘’makapamilya’’ which was shown on how the figures pray together before sharing their meal. The painting also showed the simplicity of Filipino lives and what are the typical food we eat at that time (i.e., bananas, fishes and rice).
Meanwhile, my 4th to 6th favorite pieces were focusing on elevating Filipina beauty at its best. The paintings recognized distinct Filipina features that makes Filipina unique and beautiful in our own way. The artists emphasize that our character and values makes us stand out among the rest of the women in the world. The paintings I’m raving about are the ‘’A Filipina Beauty (1931) by Vicente Alvarez Dizon — pastel on paper; Mestiza (1943) by Pablo Amorsolo — oil on canvas; Tausug Princess (1951) by Ireneo L. Miranda — oil on canvas.
In the other hand, my four remaining favorites veered to the sophisticated art of ballet dancing made all by Agustin Goy. I admire how the artist perfectly captured the gracefulness of his muses. His precision in his brush strokes and consistency in colors made his painting truly a work of art. It was fascinating to witness the strength, flexibility and aesthetic projection of the ballet dancers into four corners of the frame. Looking at his works made me realized that each women in his painting showcase the true art of movement. These paintings were A Terre (1994) in pastel on paper, Avant La Danse (2014) in oil on canvas, Ensayo (2003) in acrylic, and Arabesque in pastel on paper.
Indeed, my tour inside the National Museum was an enriching and enlightening experience for me not only as an Aesthet student but also as a Filipino.
Pamilya (1961)by Vicente Silva Manansala — oil in canvas mounted on wood