Madonna of the Slums

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Madonna of the Slums is a painting by Vicente Manansala. It is considered a key modernist painting of the 1950s. It belongs to the National Museum Collection. Measuring 86.5 x 61 cm, it is painted on masonite board.[1]


Madonna of the Slums is a picture of the urban poor set in the slums that appeared at the end of the war.[1] It is expressive of the feelings of anxiety and insecurity of the time. The shades of brown used emphasize the dirty, shabby appearance of the shanties with their roofs put together from scraps, as well as the discomfort of the people who live there. 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.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Guillermo, A.G. "Madonna of the Slums." In CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, 1st ed., Vol. 4, 258. Philippines: CCP Publications Office, 1994.



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