Fernando Amorsolo was born in Metro, Manila on May 30, 1892. His parents were Bonifacia Cueto and Pedro Amorsolo.Months after Fernando was born, his father promptly secured employment in Daet, Camarines Norte; the family remained there until his father passed away when Amorsolo was 11 years old. His parents instructed him in reading and writing Spanish at home while he attended a public school in Daet.
After his father passed away, the family relocated back to Manila and stayed with one of his uncles, Don Fabián de la Rosa, who was also a Filipino painter and a cousin of his mother. At the age of 13, Amorsolo became an apprentice to De la Rosa, who would later become Amorsolo’s champion and adviser in his painting career. His pastoral works were crucial in the development of the Filipino national identity because they “provided an imagined feeling of nationhood in opposition to American colonial control.” Amorsolo is well known for his lit landscapes, which frequently depicted customs, culture, fiestas, and jobs from the traditional Filipino way of life.
He attempted “to accomplish his Philippine interpretation of the Greek ideal for the human form,” having been schooled in the classical tradition. Amorsolo loved to base the looks of his subjects on members of his family and eschewed Western standards of beauty in his paintings of Filipina ladies.
Fernando Amorsolo Paintings
The first National Artist of the Philippines, Fernando Amorsolo y Cueto (born 1892; died 1972), is known as the “Grand Old Man of Philippine Art.”
The Marketplace by Amorsolo sold for $174,000 at a 1996 Christie’s auction. For US$ 377,947, Portrait of Fernanda De Jesus was purchased in April 2002. The Family Gathering Fruit was sold at Christie’s for USD 77,257 on November 30, 2009. Fruit Gatherer broke auction records in Maryland in December 2009, outperforming American and European paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries. The most expensive Amorsolo painting ever sold at auction for about $440,000 USD in May 2010.