"In 1960 Manansala was awarded a Smith-Mundt-Specialist Grant to study stained glass making in New York. Although he would not do a major piece in stained glass, the interest sparked a series of works which showed the leaded, cloison effect seen in stained glass. Among these are his Self Portrait (1960) J.V. and Lucy Cruz Collection, Mother and Child from the Abaya Collection. It is a phase which gives his works a vibrancy of colour and a stronger surface assertiveness which prefigure a pendulum-like swing into the recovery of pictorial depth" (Rodolf Paras-Perez, Manansala, Plc Publications, Manila, 1980, p 136).
In his Stained Glass Series, colours play a pivotal role in the accentuation of the pictorial depth of the works which is not common in the later Whirr or the Shibui Series. In the present lot, the primacy of colours is evident as the scheme of colours shifted with a different panel exuding complimenting sentiments while leading the onlooker into the inner space of the painting. More importantly, in the words of the artist, "I has this vision while I was riding the cable-car in L.A. at that time I was studying stained-glass at Greenland Studio. I saw a stained glass on top of a table with lights under it. The vibration and scintillating colour fascinated me. Sabi ko puwedeng gawin sa painting ito." (Ibid., p. 152).
Evidently, the artist's fascination was with the rich schism of colours which he re-created in the composition of Self-Portrait. Colours were almost clinically treated and the clear dissection by the black shade camouflaged an otherwise apparent graduation of colours which inturn constructed a visual treat of 'scintillating colour'.