Capturing the luminous tropical sunlight of the landscape, Fernando Cueto Amorsolo is the undisputed master of the romantic landscape genre within the Philippines. The scenes that he depicted seems to be touched with a warm backlit glow that emphasised the golden fields of wheat, the lush emeralds of the trees, and clear blue skies that characterised the ideal image of pastoralism.
With a strong desire to celebrate and elevate the status of the family as the basis for Filipino values, Amorsolo painted numerous works with a traditional nuclear family at its core. Family Under a Tree (Lot 538) offers a close-up perspective of the scene as the child resting in his father’s lap is drawn to a degree of detail seldom seen in Amorsolo’s compositions. The complementary colours of the mother’s yellow scarf and her ochre dress are the key source of warmth for the scene, and Amorosolo achieves in capturing her maternal love and the familial bond in this endearing scene.
In Baguio Market Place (Lot 539) Amorsolo presents the bustling activity of a market scene, and showcases the variety of life in the Philippines. Evident here is the strength of community, and the rich colours of the painting act to further convey the vitality of life found in the highland communities of Baguio. Man is placed in a harmonious balance with the lush landscape, and man’s activities here are seen to be in tandem with nature.
An eager observer and recorder of the moments that make up the experience of rural life in the Philippines, Harvesting at Sunset (Lot 544) is a striking and poignant painting that highlights the hard labour and satisfaction that a day’s work brings. The work includes one of Amorsolo’s iconic red and orange sunsets. Amorsolo’s respect for his subjects is clear here, and the farmer is rendered with an acknowledgement of both the weight of toil on his shoulders, as well as his confident, purposeful stride home after a fruitful harvest.
Under the Mango Tree (Lot 545) depicts an intimate scene away from the work of harvesting in the field. A brief reprieve from the heat and activity of the day, Amorsolo captures a warm scene that highlights the relationship between family, work and community. The shade of the mango tree creates a delightful scene for Amorsolo's expert depiction of light and shadow as he perfectly balances the warmth of the sun in the background of the painting with the coolness of the shade in the foreground. As the warm afternoon sunlight casts light and shadow on the ground through the leaves of the tree, Amorsolo displays the mastery of his artistic technique.