The Magnificent September Auction 2015

September 12,2015 | 02:00 PM
G/F Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines

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Jose Honorato Lozano  (1815-1885)

Untitled
dated 19th Century
watercolor on paper
12 1/4” x 9” each (31 cm x 23 cm)


PHP 400,000

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These depictions of a tribesman, a white garbed man with a spear, and two fishermen were done in dry brush watercolor on pale archetypal Manila paper.
Lozano also painted in the conventional costumbrista tradition as a means of supplying the demand for souvenirs of Manila to foreign visitors. He also painted in oils, and the Spanish government commissioned him to depict episodes from the history of the colony to be displayed during a fiesta in the district of Santa Cruz, Manila in 1848.
A knowledgeable Spanish journalist, Rafael Diaz Arenas (1850), in his book “Historical and Statistical Accounts of the Philippines” considers Lozano a “genius” and “a watercolourist without rival”. and puts him “in the same class” as Damian Domingo and Juan Arzeo.
Twenty odd years after Arenas’ book, Lozano became one of the illustrators of the magazine, La Ilustracion del Oriente. By then, his albums of watercolors of Philippine scenes had already become sought after among the foreign business community. José Honorato Lozano is also best known as the pioneering practitioner of the art form known as Letras y Figuras, in which the letters of a patron’s name is composed primarily by contoured arrangements of human figures surrounded by vignettes of scenes in Manila - an art form that may have derived loosely from illuminated manuscripts, which have been described as “some of the most quaint and endlessly fascinating relics of Filipino culture in Spanish times.”

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