Amorsolo would excel at the portrayal of the Filipina.
[The women I paint] should have a rounded face, not the oval kind often found in magazine illustrations.
The eyes should be exceptionally lively, not dreamy nor sleepy.
The nose should be with a blunt form but should also be firm and strongly marked.
The ideal Filipina beauty should not necessarily be white-complexioned, but of clear, unblemished skin, always with the freshness of a blushing girl.
- Fernando Amorsolo, speaking to the critic Rod Paras-Perez
By 1930, when Fernando Amorsolo painted this portrait of a Filipino maiden — with her hair loose and undone as was the fashion of the unmarried woman — Amorsolo was beginning to scale the height of his power and popularity.
The Filipino Woman was still a creature of the home. She would not have the right to vote — and had limited property rights. Interestingly, the right to vote was achieved shortly and astonishingly only before World War II in 1937.
Amorsolo’s maiden nevertheless has a determined look. She is confident and looks directly at the viewer, despite the fact that she dressed in a decidedly feminine fashion, a delicate, embroidered blouse tied with a silk ribbon. She is otherwise unadorned by jewelry and has a refreshing simplicity.
- Lisa Guerrero Nakpil