Provenance: Provenance:
Acquired directly from the artist by Rosario “Charito” Panganiban-Melchor
who passed it on to her three grand-daughters, Christina, Monica
and Michelle Melchor and grandson Paolo.


Federico Aguilar Alcuaz started his Tres Marias series in the 1970s. The Artist would go beyond depicting three beautiful female figures, visually articulating their gestures and poses and defining the laidback space they inhabit. In this 1984 Tres Marias masterpiece, the artist displays his sophisticated approach to portraiture as he captured the beauty, charm, and grace of his subjects. The color palette and attire evoke Spanish influences. In a departure from other pieces in the Tres Marias series showcasing traditional Filipiniana dresses, the women are depicted in more modern styles. Alcuaz’s women appear relaxed, achieved through his assured brushstrokes, refined figurative style, and a vibrant color palette that sets the overall mood. Somber colors are used, yet a certain levity is captured by his play on light and shadow. The serene setting is reinforced by the tranquil background depicted through the window, with the inner peace echoed in the world outside the frame. The symmetry embodied in the depiction of the three women is mirrored in the material objects portrayed, such as the three water goblets. The painting is a fine demonstration of the master artist’s compositional playfulness. The natural atmosphere conveyed by the painting is rooted in the color choices of blues, greens, and browns. In addition to the portrayal of sea and sky in the background, the painting’s foreground features a plant and flowers, tying a cosmopolitan, urban scene to more organic, earthy elements. This 1984 Tres Marias version was originally owned by artenthusiasts Alejandro Melchor, Jr. (Alex) and his wife Rosario Panganiban Melchor (Charito). The couple first met Alcuaz in 1976 when the Artist requested Alex to be part of his series on “Famous Filipinos.” Alex was at that time Philippine Director to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) a post he held until 1986. He agreed to pose for the Artist, who also ended up painting the portrait of Charito. Years later, Alex and Charito visited Alcuaz’s studio in search of a painting to be displayed in ADB. It was then that Charito spotted the most exquisite rendition of a Tres Marias she had ever seen. She was so captivated by the graceful and alluring women as well as the painting’s overall elegance that she immediately purchased the piece. This 1984 masterpiece adorned her living room wall for many years until she so generously gave the painting to her eldest son Alejandro Melchor III (Bud), his wife Lynette and their four children – only son Paolo, and their tres Marias – Ma. Christina, Monica Ma., and Michelle Ma..