Lot #019

Fernando Amorsolo

Noonday Meal
signed and dated 1931 (lower left)
oil on canvas
18” x 24” (46 cm x 61 cm)
Starting Bid : Php 2,000,000
HP + BP : Php 5,840,000
Authenticity Leon Gallery wishes to thank Mrs. Sylvia Amorsolo-Lazo for confirming the authenticity of this lot
Provenance Private Collection, Makati City
A young woman is cooking the mid-day meal in an earthenware pot, over a fire, to her right are yams in a basket. Sitting with her is an elderly man, perhaps her father, resting a while out of the harsh sunlight, a wooden hook for gathering rice stalks is still in his hands. It is much cooler in the shade, the vegetable vine dark against the heat. (The model is Amorsolo’s man Friday named Mang Ilo or Marcelo, who is constantly present in Fernando’s paintings.)
In the background are hardier farmers unloading hay from the sled pulled by a water buffalo. Amorsolo, challenged with the task of depicting verdant stalks of rice, meticulously applied the thick paint with a small flat brush. This must be one of Amorsolo’s earliest versions of this subject: his colors are more intense, and his approach more painterly, than those made rather formulaically, later.
-Ramon N. Villegas