Teodoro Buenaventura was one of the founders of the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts.
Aside from being a pioneer at the University of the Philippines School of the Arts, Teodoro Buenaventura opened a school of drawing in 1899 located at Magdalena Street in Trozo, Manila. A contemporary, Dominador Castaneda, reports that Buenaventura’s school was comprised of young gentlemen of leisure who sketched and painted for the sheer pleasure of it. One of the known students was Jorge Pineda.
His most popular works today are the pair of portraits at the Central Bank of the Philippines, namely, the Portrait of Rufino Valencia and Portrait of Ramona Valencia; the latter mistakenly identified as the artists mother in Kayamanan. Both works show the artists knack for strongly modeled forms, and a sensitive eye for vital features that identify his sitters.
The bulk of Buenaventura’s major works were destroyed during WWII. Most of those remaining are small landscapes and genre pieces that prove his consummate skills as a realist in the old school.