Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo

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Self portrait of Félix Resurrección Hidalgo.jpg
Felix Eduardo Resurreccion Hidalgo y Padilla
21 February 1855 – 13 March 1913
Place of birth: Manila
Place of death: Spain
Father: Eduardo Resurreccion Hidalgo
Mother: Maria Barbara Padilla

Felix Eduardo Resurreccion Hidalgo y Padilla (21 February 1855 – 13 March 1913) was a multi-awarded Filipino painter in the 19th century. He painted scenes from mythology, seascapes, landscapes, and portraits using oil, water color, pastel, and charcoal.

Early life and education

Hidalgo was born in Manila on 21 February 1855. He was the third of the seven children of Eduardo Resurreccion Hidalgo, a wealthy lawyer, and Maria Barbara Padilla, a businesswoman.

Hidalgo was said to have obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Ateneo de Municipal in a a biographical entry written by the National Historical Institute. E. Arsenio Manuel, however, wrote that the artist was granted a degree in Bachelor of Philosophy from the University of Santo Tomas in March 1871 after attempting to study law upon the command of his parents.

Artistic Career

Hidalgo was trained in the Escuela de Dibujo y Pintura under Agustin Saez, a Spanish painter. His early works, such as the La Banca (The Native Boat) and La Vendedora de Lanzones (Lanzones Vendor), were featured at the Teatro-Circo de Bilibid in 1876. Simultaneously, Hidalgo also learned to play the violin while he was training in the art of painting.

Hidalgo’s earliest distinction was in a contest held for the best cover design for Francisco Manuel Blanco’s Flora de Filipinas. He was awarded second place, next only to Saez, his teacher.

Later on, a number of his works were sent to the Philadelphia Exposition of 1879. In the same year, he was sent to Spain by the city government of Manila to study in the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid. Then, he went to Rome, where he produced the paintings Senador Romano and Melancolia. In 1883, he toured Spain to study natural landscapes and moved to Paris in 1884.

The years between 1884 and 1896 were considered by Jose Maria Asuncion as the most productive in Hidalgo’s artistic career. In 1884, his large canvass Las Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacho (The Christian Virgins Exposed to the Populace) won second place in the Exposicion General de Bellas Artes in Madrid. This was the same exhibit where Juan Luna’s Spoliarium received the first prize. The victory was celebrated by the Filipino colony in Madrid with a feast at Café Ingles on June 15 of that year. Jose Rizal was quoted to have praised the two artists and the significance of their works.

In 1887, Hidalgo’s La Barca de Aqueronte (The Boat of Charon) won a gold medal in the Philippine Exposition in Madrid. Also displayed in the said exhibit was the Laguna Estigia. In 1889, Hidalgo’s La Barca received the silver medal when it was displayed at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. The piece was exhibited for the third time in 1891 at the Expocision General de Bellas Artes of Barcelona where it was accorded the diploma de honor. The painting was again awarded the gold medal in the International Exposition of Fine Arts in Madrid during the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus. The Spanish government finally purchased the masterpiece for 7,500 pesetas under a Royal Decree dated 7 March 1893. It was first hung at the Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar and but was later on transferred to the Museo Nacional de Pinturas de Madrid following America’s acquisition of the Philippine territory.

His other known works include:

  • Leyendo el Quixote
  • Chula
  • Primavera
  • Psyche
  • Adios al Sol
  • Adios a la Aldea, 1892
  • El Crepusculo, 1893
  • Cercanias de Paris,
  • Las Virgenes
  • El Violinista
  • Cabeza Napolitana
  • Cabeza de Viejo
  • Un Religioso
  • La Marina
  • Firma de Un Contrato
  • The Banks of Seine
  • Lady Playing the Guitar
  • A Warrior
  • Moonlight
  • Fire in a Roman Coliseum
  • El Pintor y Su Modelo

The portraits he made include the following:

The following are the canvasses he made for the Spanish government as a pensionado:

  • Oedipus and Antigone, Paris, 1886
  • Governor Luiz Perez Dasmariñas and His Dominican Advisor
  • Guerreros Filipinos Velando la Tumba de Su Jefe, (Filipino Warriors Guarding the Tomb of the Chief) 1890
  • Defeat of Limahong, 1892 – was destroyed during the liberation of Manila in 1945
  • Greek Philosopher at Work, Rome, 1889
  • La Enferma, 1900
  • Through Peace and Liberty, Paris, 1904

Family and Personal Life

Hidalgo returned to the Philippines in 1912 to visit his ailing mother but left six months after for Japan. From there, he travelled back to Europe via the trans-Siberian railway. He contracted an illness while in Russia and was already sick by the time he reached Paris. He died on 13 March 1913 at the age of 53 in Sarrea, near Barcelona. Maria Yrritia, a long-time friend who also posed as a model for his works, brought home his remains to the Philippines, which were then buried at the family mausoleum at the Manila North Cemetery.




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