114th birth anniversary of nat’l artist Vicente Manansala remembered

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas celebrates the 114th Birth Anniversary of Vicente Manansala.

Born in Macabebe, Pampanga, Manansala transferred to Manila at the age of 4. Manansala trained at the atelier of Fernand Leger in France, a painter associated with the cubist movement and whose paintings showed the precise and polished appearance of machinery. He eventually developed his own unique style of painting called transparent cubism—where tones, shapes, and patterns of figure and environment are delicately superimposed creating a flowing movement of finely crafted planes.

This style is in full display in several large-scale murals he executed, namely, History of Medicine at the lobby of St. Martin de Porres Building, UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery; The Arts and Sciences at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Campus, Palma Hall, Arts and Sciences Lobby; the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) murals depicting Philippine rural life painted in 1962 (presently displayed at the National Museum of the Philippines); and Inang Bayan at the Philippine Heart Center. 

Manansala, along with Ang Kiukok, lent his masterful brushstrokes in creating the iconic fifteen Stations of the Cross painted from 1955-56 at the Chapel of the Holy Sacrifice, UP Diliman Campus. These two masters, together with Leandro Locsin, Napoleon Abueva, and Arturo Luz, all contributed their artistic talent to the chapel. They were declared National Artists, with Manansala posthumously awarded National Artist for Painting in 1981. 

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