Art critic and painter Emilio Aguilar Cruz wrote in an essay that the great twentieth-century master painter De la Rosa “painted with gusto and affection the things that were close to the life of the people around” and was “always too big of a man to play down to the popular demand for stereotypes glorifying native life for those who lacked the vitality to accept it through an emasculated art.” More than his vigorous genre paintings, De la Rosa is particularly known for his elegant women portraits. This 1922 piece that may have been that of a local woman in a traditional dress is a great example that indicates the artist’s adeptness in rendering women figures through his signature realist-romanticist perspective. Evident are his characteristic lines that draw attention to the transparency of the woman subject’s baro sleeves; the baro’t saya was the typical dress of Filipinas from the middle class in the period the piece was painted. Twentieth-century master artist Don Fabian de la Rosa y Cueto, an heir to the artistic tradition of Juan Luna and his contemporaries, is among the greatest Filipino artists of all time. During his heyday, he was among the best-known Filipino painters, a renaissance man who acquired not only a refined artistic style but also culture. Dela Rosa was the second director of the UP School of Fine Arts; also an art historian and writer, he wrote the first overview of art history and the first essays on painting in the Philippines. He is particularly noted as a master of genre painting and portraiture of women subjects. Born on May 5, 1869, in Paco, Manila, he is the second child of Marcos de la Rosa and Gregoria Cueto. A child prodigy, it was noted that he could draw and paint before he was ten years old, coming of age in the period between the Spanish rule in its twilight and the American rule in its dawn. He received artistic training from his uncle, Simon Flores y de la Rosa, and was enrolled at the Escuela de Dibujo, Pintura y Gravura in 1893, counting among his mentors Miguel Zaragoza and Lorenzo Guerrero. He was also in the company of Antonio and Juan Luna (the latter was twelve years his senior). Upon the death of his father, Dela Rosa left the Escuela, painting landscapes and portrait commissions. Art historian Aurelio Alvero identified three overlapping periods in Fabian de la Rosa’s artistic development. His works during the first period are influenced by the Spanish academic school, antedating his first travel to Europe in 1908 as a scholar of physician-businessman and philanthropist Dr. Ariston Bautista Lin. These are marked by dark tones and technically detailed figures as impacted by academic art. The second period, up to circa 1925, shows influences of the French modern school. The third precedes his second sojourn to Europe up to his last years in which his paintings seek atmosphere, massing, and spacing as well as a balance of emotiveness. Fabian de la Rosa won his first gold medal for Planting Rice at the 1904 St. Louis International Exposition in which he unleashed the principles of drawing and harmonious colors as well as his nationalism in the choice of subject and local color. He fared more successfully under the new American colonial rule. Later on, he traveled as a private pensionado to study in France and Spain before returning to Manila, further getting acclaim for his craft. His oeuvre ranges from depictions of scenes of everyday life, idyllic landscapes, common people, and remarkable portraits of prominent Filipino personalities, common men and women, all regarded as masterworks of national and universal moments. Adding life into genre painting in the country during the 20th century, his works are marked by distinct lyricism, realism, romanticism, and also nationalism. His subjects, regardless of social class or color, celebrate the universality of humanity and creativity. Women were rendered in their regality as they do daily activities, from planting in the rice fields to chatting and weaving. Art critic and painter Emilio Aguilar Cruz praised Fabian de la Rosa in a 1944 critique he wrote for the Philippine Review: “In him the autochthonous Philippine painting of the last century reached full flowering, and his whole career is summed up all that is good in the past… De la Rosa’s greatness lies just where greatness does in any department of human activity, namely, in rising above the leveling sentiments and prejudices of one’s time.” De la Rosa was also credited for nurturing the talents of his two nephews, the brothers Fernando and Pedro Amorsolo y Cueto, in the same way that he drew his first artistic training from his prominent uncle. The Amorsolo brothers are among his five orphaned relatives, and it turned out that Fernando Amorsolo would later on become the next titan in Philippine painting.