Job Was Also Man

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Job Was Also Man is a composition of Martino Abellana in oil on canvas. It won first prize in the conservative category at the 1953 semiannual competition of the Art Association of the Philippines.[1] The painting measures 24cm x 31.75cm and belongs to the Romulo Galicano Collection.


This painting shows the social conditions of Filipinos after World War II. Job, as the subject, is the biblical model of patience and long suffering who takes the figure of a beggar in shorts.[1][2] Job’s face is lined with suffering, his eyes are resigned and his mouth is open in supplication. The background shows ruined stone buildings.[2]

The image of Job shows Abellana's academic mastery of the human figure.[1]

History and context

Job Was Also Man was submitted by Abellana as an entry to the semi-annual competition of the Art Association of the Philippines in 1953. It won first prize in the conservative category.[3]

This painting was done in the tradition of “proletarian art” sparked by Vicente Manansala in the 1950s, which pays homage to Filipinos by showing them as the ideal. Paintings in this style also reflect the living conditions of the post-war era, with its poverty and hardships.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, 1st ed. Philippines: CCP Publications Office, 1994.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 McFerson, Hazel. Filipino Identity and Self-Image in Historical Perspective. In Mixed Blessing: The Impact of the American Colonial Experience on Politics and Society in the Philippines. London: Greenwood Press, 2002.
  3. Klassen, Winand. Martino Abellana and Philippine Painting: Conversations with the Artist. Philippine Quarterly of Culture & Society 12, 87-105, 1984.



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