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  • One of the most significant artists in South East Asian art history, Fernando Amorsolo was known as the master of Phillippine landscapes.

     

    Harvesting Rice showcases Amorsolo’s famous mastery of light. Educated in the classical tradition, the use of chiaroscuro was perhaps Amorsolo’s greatest contribution to the development of Philippine painting. Philippine sunlight was a constant feature of Amorsolo's work, and he is believed to have painted only one rainy scene in his career. A smiling woman, radiant with the Philippine sun shining upon her back, approaches a man kneeling in the paddy field, her shadow offering him temporary respite from the heat. In the background oxen graze peacefully, and white clouds drift overhead. The impressionistic scene is thrown into sharp relief by the intense sunlight, highlighting the drapery of the woman’s skirt and the sinuous musculature of the paddy field worker.

     

    Claude Monet, Wheatstacks (End of Summer), 1890–91, Art Institute of Chicago
    Claude Monet, Wheatstacks (End of Summer), 1890–91, Art Institute of Chicago

    Amorsolo was influenced by the Spanish people court painter Diego Velázquez, John Singer Sargent, and the Impressionists Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Yet despite his classical art education, Amorsolo rejected Western ideals of beauty in favour of Filipino ideals, often modelling the faces of his subjects on family members. Seeking to forge a sense of Filipino national identity ‘in counterpoint to American colonial rule’, he explained that the ideal Filipina woman should have a rounded face, rather than the oval type favoured by Western-influenced media, with lively eyes and a blunt but ‘firm and strongly marked’ nose, and the complexion of ‘a blushing girl’ (Rodriguez Paras-Perez, Fernando C. Amorsolo: Drawings, Manila, 1992). Today Amorsolo’s paintings have gained international renown for their luminous, sun-drenched portrayal of Philippine rural life, customs and culture, which are regarded ‘true reflections of the Filipino soul’.

    • Provenance

      Private Collection
      Christie's, Hong Kong, 27 November 2005, lot 44
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

224

Harvesting Rice

1955
signed and dated 'F. Amorsolo 1955' lower right
oil on canvas
61.5 x 86.6 cm. (24 1/4 x 34 1/8 in.)
Painted in 1955.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
HK$250,000 - 350,000 
€27,300-38,200
$32,100-44,900

Sold for HK$1,260,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction

Hong Kong Auction 4 December 2020