Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquis of
Dalí de Púbol (1904 -1989), known professionally as Salvador Dalí,
was the world famous pioneering Spanish surrealist form Figueres,
Maurice Utrillo, born Maurice Valadon, was a French painter who
specialized in citiscapes.
Both participated in a major art competition in San Francisco back
in 1939, but were defeated by a Filipino, Vicente Alvarez Dizon.
Dizon carved a golden moment for Philippine art when he placed
the country at the top of the world’s biggest art competition in
1939. He won the top prize with “After the Day’s Toil” in the
Golden Gate International Exposition, which opened on Feb. 19,
1939 in San Francisco, California.
At the age of sixteen, he was already illustrating like a professional
artist even without any previous art schooling. He illustrated for
pre-war Liwayway Publications especially the stories of "Lola
Basyang", Graphic Herald, TVT papers and the Women's Home
Journal, while he was still in high school.
In 1929, Vicente won a scholarship from an Art School in
America (Federal Schools, a correspondence school in Minneapolis,
Minnesota). He was also busy at his easel, as if time was running
short for him, producing many historical and genre paintings.
He did research on local costumes and prepared 39 watercolor
paintings: "Filipino Costumes, 1500-1935". He was offered $3,000
US dollars by Lord Barnaby of the University of London (who sailed
on the same ship with him on his way to Yale University, New
Haven, Connecticut, U. S. A. for his scholarrship). He later sold
these to the UP Library in 1940 but these got burned during the
Liberation of Manila in 1945.
He also painted "The Battle of Zapote Bridge", "The Battle of Tirad
Pass", "The Struggle", etc. He was a pioneer in the crusade for Art
Education at all educational levels; a teacher of Drawing and Art
Appreciation at the National Teachers College (1929-41). In 1932,
he was elected executive secretary of the Philippine Association of
Fine and Applied Arts.
In 1934, Vicente again won another scholarship, this time at the
Yale University. Tall, lean with Castillan features, Vicente was a
good dresser and easily stood-out in his white de-hilo suit even in
America. While there, he tried his best in his studies. Once in a
while he would get invited to lecture on Philippine Art and Culture
and during these lecture tours around America, he always exhibited
his "Filipino Costumes" paintings. In 1936, during his stay in Yale, Vicente was the first Filipino to be elected
as one of the 12 members of the "Yale Phi Alpha", a singular honor
since only 12 members were elected each year from the more than 300
It was also during his stint in Yale that he painted his famous painting
"After the Day's Toil".
The winning masterpiece was Dizon’s graduation thesis at Yale University
where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in June 1936.
He finished it with distinction in less than two years. In 1939, Kevin
Mallen, a representative of the International Business Machines
Corporation (IBM), went to see Vicente at their residence in A. Mabini
St., Manila. Mr. Mallen came to take a look at Vicente's painting After
the Day’s Toil.
After seeing it, Mr. Mallen right away bought it for IBM. It was framed
and shipped to the U.S.A. and included in the International Competition
on Contemporary Art of 79 Nations at the Golden Gate Exposition in San
Francisco, California. In this historic competition, his painting won First
Place by popular votation (later judged by a jury).
The entry of Spain by Salvador Dali won Second Place, and the entry
of the United States won Third Place.
After winning this prestigious award, Vicente continued to teach and
was a faculty member of the University of the Philippines School of Fine
Arts where he lectured on History of Art (1940-47) and at the UP college
of Education, where he also lectured on Art and Interior Decoration
As for the painting “After the Day’s Toil”, Dr. Rogelio Pine, a Filipino
cardiologist based in New Jersey, acquired the original painting at the
invitation of the Daniel B. Grossman Fine Art Inc. in New York on Oct. 3,