Portrait of Jose Rizal
Born in 1869 in Paco, Manila, in the Philippines, Fabian de la Rosa was the first Filipino Dean of the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts, from 1926 till his death in 1937. He was the uncle and mentor of the first National Artist of Philippines, Fernando Amorsolo and his brother Pablo. De La Rosa’s works reflect much of his country’s history and he is best known for his landscapes, portraits, and everyday scenes in academic art traditions. His works were produced during a period where the trend in the arts was to romanticise the countryside and its peoples, in contrast to the urbanisation and industrialisation that were taking place as part of the wider colonial contexts. In contrast to urban conditions and class violence, he depicted rural Filipinos as hardworking, strong, resolute and possessing of a quiet dignity despite life's adversity. De la Rosa remained a painter of Philippine genre in the realist manner throughout his career. In 1908, he received a scholarship for further art training in Europe including a short stint in Academy Julien in Paris.