Bathing nudes signed and dated 'F Amorsolo, 1949' (lower right)
Oil on canvas
47 x 39 in. (120 x 100 cm.)
NOTES Fernando Amorsolo received his formal training at the University of the Philippines under the guidance of Fabian de la Rosa. Upon his graduation, the artist has successfully mastered the Greco-Roman notions of beauty, very much in the best traditions of the greatest masters of Filipino Academism, Juan Luna and F. R. Hidalgo. However, the artist would choose to reject his learning and chose instead to utilize a sense of proportion and colour suitable for depicting the Filipinas as seen in the present lot, Bathing nudes. The Bathing nudes exemplifies the classic Amorsolo image of the female beauty which is always endowed with smooth, slender body, slightly elongated neck and long limbs, round face with dark lively eyes and mouth; soft and sensuous. The years 1920 to 1940s stand out as the Golden Period of Amorsolo where his landscapes and depiction of Filipinas reached towering heights. He is noted to approach nature directly, painting outdoors capturing the 'fleeting moment' revealing a splendour of colours under the evanescence of the Filipino sunlight. Refined and repeated, expressed on so many canvases, it evolved into a body of works, which is referred to now as the genre painting of Amorsolo. The present lot typifies the genre work of Amorsolo, with the depiction of the idealised Filipinas and the picturesque representation of the rustic Philippines. Although critics have commented that these repetitive idyllic and picturesque images are an oversimplification and sentimalisation of rustic Philippines, it is however not justifiable to dismiss the artist's genuine rejection of the Greco-Roman idea of beauty and replaced it with his own understanding of an ideal Filipino beauty. In fact, Fernando Amorsolo would be remembered as the first artist who depicted the Filipino sunlight in its most natural and genuine state.
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