Madonna of the Slums

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Madonna of the Slums is 86.5 x 61 cm. It is considered a key modernist painting of the 1950s.

Set in the slums that appeared at the end of the war is this picture of the urban poor. It is expressive of the feelings of anxiety and insecurity of the time. The shades of brown used emphasize the shabby appearance of the shanties with their roofs put together from scraps, the dirt, and the discomfort. The central image is of a keen and watchful mother whose child's hand is against her face in a gesture that suggests protection against the harshness of life.

A painting on masonite by Vicente Manansala, it now belongs to the National Museum Collection.


  • Guillermo, A.G. "Madonna of the Slums". In CCP Enclyclopedia of Philippine Art, 1st ed., Vol. 4, 258. Philippines: CCP Publications Office, 1994.



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