IA#4 Museum Visit 1

Last Saturday, Alyanna Hernandez and I decided to visit the National Museum. Here are some of our photos outside and inside the museum.

Then here goes my MAGIC EIGHT below. Enjoy!

medium: oil on canvas

Portrait of Julieta Abad Rufino by Fernando Amorsolo (1951)

Among all the paintings that I have encountered in the National Museum, this one is my most favorite because of its subject. I might sound funny but she somehow resembles someone I know from school, one of my previous professors to be exact. This painting is located beside the unfinished portrait of a lady by Fernando Amorsolo. The moment I flipped my head right, I felt as if there’s a lost portrait of my former teacher in the National Museum. HOMYGOODNESS! How is that even possible?! At that moment, I was already wondering if the lady reincarnated into my professor’s persona. It really caught 101% of my attention so I went closer to it. After reading it’s title, I figured out that it was a portrait of Julieta Abad Rufino. I do not know know her but I am thankful that she’s not Anne Camit. Geez! I’ve read rumors about this painting and some of those said that the reason why this is the most beautiful and realistic among all the portraits that Amorsolo has done is because he really loved and admired Julie Rufino for her elegance and grace.
medium: oil on canvas

Portrait of a Lady by Fernando Amorsolo (undated)

This painting of Fernando Amorsolo caught my attention since it’s unfinished and that’s what made made it unique today. It may look as just a normal unfinished painting during that time that it was made but now, it’s one of he works that catches lots of attention in the museum. According to the description of the painting, this was the painting that Amorsolo paid his least attention to that’s why he was not even able to finish it until he died. I personally felt bad for the painting that it could’t even beg for Amorsolo’s attention even just a little. BOOM! Hugot!
medium: not specified

Pag-unlad ng Panggagamot sa Pilipinas by Carlos Francisco (undated)

For me, among all the sets of paintings that we’ve checked, this set is the very interesting one. This set has to be exhibited alone in a separate room because of its size. It has four paintings that shows the evolution of medicine (from the primitive to modern times), which occupied almost the entire wall of the room. Aside from its size, the style of how it’s painted were very realistic and appealing to the eyes. It’s not hard to understand since the message that the painting wants to covey is very clear and obvious compared to other paintings that needs to be analyzed deeply first. The first painting shows the era when people still consult with their “babaylan” to diagnose their illnesses. In the next painting, the “babaylan” was replaced by the “albularyo/magtatawas”, which is also known as quack doctors. On the third painting, it’s already the actual doctors who do the check ups and treatments but the setting is still very traditional. The last painting shows the modern medicine practices that we are enjoying in today’s time.
medium: not specified

Bandera Filipina by Juan Luna (1899)

This painting was included in the exhibit of Juan Luna’s paintings alone. It happened that there were also foreign visitors in the same room at that moment. Maybe they were so curious about Philippine history, they are being accompanied by a staff of National Museum who’s in charge of explaining things to them. Since I am a big chismosa, I eavesdropped with what the staff was telling the foreigners (the look like Vietnamese pips). This painting was one of the paintings that the staff explained to the visitors. He emphasized who’s Juan Luna in the Philippines and what that painting is all about. From what I have heard, this painting was made when the Philippines was taken over by the American from the Spaniards. He even told the foreigners that it’s only the Philippine flags that’s present in the painting but also the American flag, which is painted in a very small detail. You might not even notice it in from the first glance but if you examine that painting deeply, you’ll realize that a very small American flag is actually placed in that painting. When I heard that, I got curious and I wanted to see and prove if what he said was trues so I really checked the painting myself and it’s confirmed to be really there. I wonder how Juan Luna managed to do that. It’s just so amazing. really. But the material used for it was not specified in the information tile beside it.
medium: charcoal

Portrait of a Woman by Unknown Artist (1925)

At my first glance, I thought I was an old picture of a lady, only to find out that it’s a painting! This portrait is in the same exhibit where unfinished portrait of Fernando Amorsolo and the portrait of Julie Rufino were located. What even made this portrait of a woman (name was not mentioned) special is the material used to it, which is charcoal. I got deceived for the second time I thought it was just a sketch made out of pencil/graphite but it’s not. I find it very creative and experimental on the part of the artist since it’s not everyday that people would usually use charcoal as a material to paint. From a being a typical “panggatong”, he was able to find a way on how to use it artistically and end up with an extraordinary masterpiece like this. I have also noticed that there are two wallet-sized picture of two different children inserted on the lower corners of the frame. I have no idea who were those but the only thing that I am sure about is this — those photos something to do with the past/history of the subject, the painter or the portrait itself. I have so many questions about that portrait since there’s only a very few information provided about it. It’s just too bad that we won’t be able to know who’s the master behind this portrait.
medium: oil on canvas

The Burning of Sto. Domingo Church by Fernando Amorsolo (1946)

I have a confession to make in line with this painting. I am from Quezon City since the day I was born and I live near the Quezon Ave. But never in my entire existence, not even in elementary school or any textbook, I have ever been informed that Sto. Domingo Church was burned before. My GOODNESS! The moment I saw this painting, I was like “Gosh! My life has been a lie, all these time?!”. I thought I know a lot about Quezon City but that changed until I saw this. I didn’t think it’s even possible for a Quezon City kiddo like me not to know what the most important historical happenings about QC heritages are. It’s indeed a shame for me tho and honestly, I felt so dumb and clueless about it. After seeing this painting, I did research about it, even though I think it’s already too late for doing such. But then, I would still like to express my deepest gratitude to National Museum for keeping such paintings and information that people usually miss or fail to encounter from books and lectures. A tleast now, I already know that Sto. Domingo Church was burned before during the Japanese era. It has indeed a lot of treasures and wonders that are worth knowing and sharing for. I realized that this painting is just one of the numerous paintings that contain different secrets and facts and are still waiting to be revealed to the world even up to this moment.
medium: oil on canvas

Superstition by Cesar T. Legaspi (1982)

I’m not really a fan of abstract paintings since I find it hard to analyze things so deeply. But I’ll make an exemption for this one. I what I personally liked about this painting is how the artist came up with an idea of an image, which is not that hard to see and understand but still has a deep and mysterious meaning. Based on my understanding of this, the guy is being consumed also by himself because he’s not doing something to resist it at all. He’s falling to the trap what he made by himself as well but he’s just letting things to happen, without even having a self-will to escape from his cracks and excavations. The deep cracks/excavations may symbolize his mistakes, shortcomings, fears, insecurities and inhibitions in his life that eventually gobble him up and swallow his entire personality.
medium: oil on masonite

The Burning of Manila by Fernando Amorsolo (1946)

I have no issue with this next burning-related painting anymore but I would just like to commend Fernando Amorsolo for this painting because I really admire the way he designed it to look very realistic and engaging. I may not be alive yet during the burning of Manila in the Japanese era but I felt like I was also there when it happened upon seeing this painting. Yes, Amorsolo has made a lot of great works but this was the one that was able to give me chills by just looking at it. I am personally scared of fires, it could be on news/televisions or an actual fire within the area. This painting may not have an actual fire on it but it still affected me, the way an actual fire does. That’s what I mean by realistic. The painting could already engage the audience even by just simply looking at the it, because of the different intensity of feelings and emotions it could bring. How on the earth could you even do that to your paintings, Amorsolo?! You’re indeed one of a kind artist.
photo by: Alyanna Hernandez