Amorsolo idealized the peasant, whom he situated in a rural idyll where nature was ever bountiful and hunger and strife were unknown.
He used natural light in his paintings even as early as the 1920s. This painting is dated 1929. In typical Amorsolo fashion, the figure of a man taking care of his rooster is outlined against a characteristic glow, and the subdued orange sunlight hitting the earth highlights the nearby details, especially the green grass. The man may be under the shade of a tree or the shadows of a nipa hut. Says Alfredo Roces in his book, Amorsolo (1975): “More accurately, it was the shadow areas he painted with a richness of color that previous artists had simply obscured with dark scrumble.”
Amorsolo’s optimistic, pastoral images set the tone for Philippine painting before World War II. Except for his darker World War II-era paintings, Amorsolo painted quiet and peaceful scenes throughout his career. He was the first to extensively portray traditional Filipino customs and manners, fiestas and occupations like fishing, planting, going to market, washing laundry, cooking and reading.