Philippine Visual Arts

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Visual arts in the Philippines can be described as a fusion of Western and native cultural influences. The Spanish friars were the ones who introduced the Western styles of painting and engraving to the Filipinos through art which was mainly on religious themes since these forms back then were strictly for the church or religious purposes only. It was sculpting that the Filipinos accepted quickly, which resulted in the emergence of the sculpted saints that replaced the earlier carved anitos in the natives’ homes. Nowadays, the influence of the Spaniards can still be seen in the works of the Filipinos along with influences from other countries as a result of globalization. With the resurgence of nationalism in the latter decades of the twentieth century, indigenous forms and motifs have also been adopted by modern visual artists.


  • “The Spanish Colonial Tradition in Philippine Visual Arts,” Spanish Influence on Filipino Visual Arts. n.d. (accessed August 12, 2007)
  • “A Multi-level Event in Search of the Filipino,” National Commission for Culture and Arts. 21 June 2004. (accessed August 12, 2007)
  • “Roots of Diversity in Philippine Contemporary Art,” Asian Art Now. n.d. (accessed August 12, 2007)



  • Philippine Culture and Arts
  • Philippine Arts