Fernando Cueto Amorsolo (Filipino, 1892-1972) Maiden with Fruits, 1930

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Lot 70
Fernando Cueto Amorsolo
(Filipino, 1892-1972)
Maiden with Fruits, 1930

Sold for HK$ 4,975,625 (US$ 635,559) inc. premium
Fernando Cueto Amorsolo (Filipino, 1892-1972)
Maiden with Fruits, 1930
signed, dated and inscribed 'F C Amorsolo Manila 1930', lower right.
oil on canvas laid on board
48 x 66 cm. (18 7/8 x 26 in.)

Footnotes

  • 阿莫索羅 仕女與水果 油彩畫布 一九三零年作

    Provenance:
    Acquired by Johannes Cornelius Hugo Penning in the 1930s in Manila, Philippines
    By descent to John Penning, United Kingdom
    Thence by descent to the present owner
    Private Collection, United Kingdom

    Johannes Cornelius Hugo Penning designed the Victorias Milling Company (VICMICO) mill in Victorias, Negros Occidental, The Philippines and processed sugar cane amongst other crops. The mill, founded in 1919, was amongst the first agro-industrial complexes in the country. He acquired the Amorsolo painting and passed it to his only child, John Penning, upon his death.


    One of the finest and earliest dated Fernando Amorsolo paintings to come to market, Maiden with Fruits is a strikingly memorable portrait, a paean to an idealized Filipina beauty, underlined with abundance and contentment.

    Lit by the sunlight of the golden hour that contrasts beautifully with her purple organza dress, the maiden is sat in the shade of a nipay hut – which represents a cultural icon for togetherness and family. The still life set next to her is a bountiful harvest of mangoes and local fruits contained in traditionally woven bamboo, representative of the bountiful harvest that was reaped, which connotes the agrarian ideal. Nationalism is presented in the guise of a romantic yearning for the countryside.

    Fernando Amorsolo is the master of the romantic landscape genre within the art history of the Philippines, most renowned for capturing utopic rural scenes. The romanticised portraits and landscapes of Amorsolo were heavily inspired by master artists who preceded him such as his own uncle, Fabian de la Rosa. Untainted by the political and social changes that were occurring in the early 1920s and 30s, Amorsolo's idyllic scenes exemplify the excellence the artist possessed in presenting a utopic vista of the rural Philippines that existed in the souls of his countrymen, unblemished by the realities of the nation's turbulent conditions.

    The artist considered Venus de Milo or the Mona Lisa to be good enough for the West, but for Filipinos, Amorsolo felt a different ideal of beauty was needed. He made this clear when he defined the ideal Filipina beauty as "one with a rounded face, not of the oval type ... the eyes should be exceptionally lively". The maiden in this portrait translates Amorsolo's described ideal. More often than not, Amorsolo's wife, Maring, posed for him. Maiden with Fruits is no exception: we see that the maiden is dressed in the organza dress wore by Maring when she posed for him.

    The portrait of the maiden in the present lot is larger in size versus other portraits Amorsolo painted in the late 1920s and early 1930s, which serves to epitomise the highpoint of Amorsolo's oeuvre. Maiden with Fruits is singular in composition within Amorsolo's body of works, unlike the numerous versions of Girl with Banga painted in the same period. The maiden's noble and beautiful personage is singular and exceptional; a painting of absolute quality and rarity.
Contacts
Fernando Cueto Amorsolo (Filipino, 1892-1972) Maiden with Fruits, 1930
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