The Spectacular Mid-year Auction 2019

June 22,2019 | 02:00 PM
G/F Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines

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Fernando Amorsolo  (1892-1972)

Portrait of a Gentleman
signed and dated 1954 (lower right)
oil on canvas
30”x 24” (76 cm x 61 cm)


PHP 120,000

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Provenance: Private Collection, London

Amorsolo paints a portrait with a strongly individualized character. The dark
clothing emphasizes his brightly lit face drawing attention to his features and
overall youthful expression, his eyes stare out into the distance. Portrait painting,
particularly when done on commission, can often lead or force an artist to
compromise with his true style and vision.
His portraits are an integral part of his total oeuvre, among them indeed are to
be found some of his very highest achievements. The uncompromising nature
of Amorsolo’s approach to portrait commissions us apparent from very early on.
The figure is powerfully modelled. Yet the facial expression, though proud, is
not aggressive, and in its own way, thoughtful. The charming presences in these
portraits reveal, better than is possible in writing, a reticent quality of the unnamed
personality. Amorsolo, the premier portraitist in the last mid-century caught the
subtle smiles, and those stolen glances which suddenly like lightning pass.
By preserving the most transient manifestations of the human spirit, Amorsolo
grants us an intimacy with the intangible past. The fluid, gentle rendering of the
face, reinforces by the inner strength and fortitude so clearly conveyed by the
artist.

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