Lot #039

Fernando Amorsolo

Portrait of a Lady
signed and dated 1955 (lower right)
Oil On Canvas
13” x 10” (33 cm x 25 cm)
Starting Bid : Php 220,000
HP + BP : Php 817,600
Authenticity Leon Gallery wishes to thank Mrs. Sylvia Amorsolo-Lazo for confirming the authenticity of this lot.
Provenance Private Collection, Manila
Some of the best painters in history have dedicated themselves to capturing the look of a well-dressed man or woman. The unidentified sitter provides Fernando Amorsolo with a misty, sensitive rendering of character.
The portrait is subtly lit from one side, producing a soft contrast between light and shadow, and a sense of rounded form that cannot be captured with frontal lighting.
Fine brushstrokes following the direction of form give, in the face, a fine depiction of character. Pale rosy highlights are used to suggest roundness and solidity of features in the face down to the shoulders, while eyes, nose and mouth are rendered with sympathetic precision. After such moments of calm concentration, Amorsolo relaxes over the accessories — the sheer delicacy of the shawl, the embroidered floral pinks on the dress.
Amorsolo avoids the purely decorative effects of detailing, while still capturing the elements of fifties high society in the dress. A brushed-on solidity in the background provides a sense of depth to emphasize the radiant face, and the luminous qualities of the fabrics.