Vicente Manansala's mother and child themes started with his prize-winning Madonna of the Slums from 1950, which is a portrayal of a mother and child from the countryside who became urban shanty residents once in the city.
This Mother and Child from 1978 is expressive of the feelings of love and lightness. The image is of a keen and loving mother whom embraces her child wholeheartedly.
Manansala was the second pillar of the Philippine ‘Neo-Realism’ ( the other two being Cesar Legaspi and H.R Ocampo).
Vicente Manansala graduated from the UP School of Fine Arts in 1930 and went on to further training at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Montreal as well as in Paris , thanks to the UNESCO grant, that brought him face to face with Fernand Leger, who was a teacher in the Sorbonne and later formed his own Academie.
Leger’s views on “the human figure as plastic value, not as a sentimental value” had a particular resonance for the Neo-Realists who used the term “plastic reality”; so did his practice of cubism (or “fracturing’ objects into geometric shapes while depicting the illusion of three-dimensionality.”)
As perfectly narrated by Rodolfo Paras-Perez: “Cubism then became the generating force of Manansala's mature works, the stylistic center of his main oeuvres. It was not a master-follower relationship — it was more like extending the premises of a tradition. Cubism did not curtail the dimension of Manansala's vision. He enriched the style and gave it a new context. Above all, he gave it a new sense of place."