The Spectacular Mid-Year Auction 2018

June 9,2018 | 02:00 PM
G/F Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines

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Fernando Amorsolo  (1892-1972)

Mango Gatherers
signed and dated 1931 (lower right)
oil on panel
31” x 33” (78 cm x 84 cm)


PHP 5,000,000

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Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist by the 4th Count of Peracamps, Don Antonio Méilan Zóbel, and by descent to his son, the 5th Count of Peracamps, Don Leopoldo Mélian and his wife Natividad Ugarte Aboitiz

In 1975, Alfredo Roces wrote: “Amorsolo’s genre pieces are carefully worked out of preliminary pencil and oil color studies. The figures are thoughtfully arranged — “composition” being a major preoccupation of artists of the period. This explains why in many paintings certain figures recur. The figures are regarded as ingredients with which the artist found endless variations. At his best, the genre pieces sparkle with freshness.”

Alfredo Roces added: “Amorsolo’s genre pieces are carefully worked out of preliminary pencil and oil color studies. The figures are thoughtfully arranged — “composition” being a major preoccupation of artists of the period. This explains why in many paintings certain figures recur. The figures are regarded as ingredients with which the artist found endless variations. The field workers are immersed in the lush abundance of the summer harvest.

Watermelons insinuate themselves from the foreground and lead the eye to rest upon the figures in the shade. A woman sits under the sun at left, while others pause in the shade, while the hot sun beats down on the open area behind the tree at left. It is not about the fleeting light or some passing scene. The bucolic mood and timeless setting looks back to the eighteenth century pictures, to the fete gallants of French artists.

The famed artist had it painted what could have been a banal “people under the shade of a tree” theme with a combination of spectacular romanticism at left and meticulous literalism at the right. The left hand figures are painted in light, feathered brushstrokes. The figures on the right, however, are painted in a darker manner, and the dichotomy compares to that of Renoir’s protracted work “The Umbrellas”, although there is no evidence if Amorsolo painted this within an extended frame of time. Painted in 1931, this image is to become one of his repeated and varied themes. Alfredo Roces added, “Through the 30s, Amorsolo remained highly imaginative and active, periodically going outdoors painting and seeking other subjects stimulated by the nostalgia around him for the changing country life, he painted rural life's genre, rather than aspects of city life. Gradually, Amorsolo reached a peak in is genre repertoire.”

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