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National Museum receives donation of 4 Amorsolo paintings

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BATAAN by Fernando Amorsolo — FACEBOOK.COM/NATIONALMUSEUMOFTHEPHILIPPINES

FOUR works by National Artist for Visual Arts Fernando C. Amorsolo have been donated to the National Museum of the Philippines.

On Aug. 19, the National Museum formally accepted four noteworthy works by the National Artist from the Judge Guillermo B. Guevara Foundation, Inc. The museum’s Director-General Jeremy R. Barns accepted the paintings from Victor Guevara, chairman of the foundation.

The four paintings — which have been on loan to the National Museum since 2020 — are: Portrait of Judge Guillermo B. Guevara (1950), Bataan (1942), Assassination of Governor Bustamante (1965), and Wakas ni Magallanes (1963).

A deed of donation was signed by the representatives of the museum and the Judge Guillermo B. Guevara Foundation signifying the formal transfer of the oil paintings.

The Portrait of Judge Guillermo Guevara is the earliest work the sitter commissioned from Amorsolo, along with the portrait of his wife, Asuncion Palma Guevara. This is exhibited at the Early 20th Century Philippine Portrait Hall of the National Museum of Fine Arts (NMFA).

Bataan is currently exhibited in Gallery VIII — Silvina and Juan Laya Hall. Reminiscent of Michelangelo’s Pietà, where the Virgin Mary is depicted mourning over the dead body of her son, Jesus Christ, the center of the painting a woman looking up to the sky as she kneels next to the body of a fallen soldier.

According to one of Mr. Guevara’s family members, the artist feared the Japanese who were occupying the Philippines at that time and decided to erase the USAFFE (United States Army Forces in the Far East) buckle on the soldier’s uniform. The artist kept the painting for 14 years before Mr. Guevara acquired it in 1956.

Mr. Guevara also commissioned two works that reflect important historical events: The Assassination of Governor Bustamante and Ang Wakas ni Magallanes.

Completed in 1963, Ang Wakas ni Magallanes is Amorsolo’s artistic rendition and interpretation of the death of Ferdinand Magellan in Mactan, Cebu. It is currently exhibited as part of the exhibit The Longest Journey: The First Journey Around the World in Galleries XXV and XXVI.

Meanwhile, The Assassination of Governor Bustamante is the artist’s creative depiction of the assassination of Governor-General Fernando Bustamante and his son on Oct. 11, 1719, at the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros. A painting of the same subject made by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo can be found at the National Museum of Fine Arts’ Spoliarium Hall.

For more information on the Judge Guillermo B. Guevara Foundation, Inc., visit https://judgeguillermobguevara.org/.