Filipino art legends and their masterpieces


    Rare and important artworks once more went under the hammer in the recently concluded Asian Cultural Council Auction 2021 at Leon Gallery.

    “It has been a truly unique experience to have a powerhouse cast of Filipino art legends and their masterpieces,” shares Leon Gallery Director Jaime Ponce de Leon.

    “Sorprendidos” by Juan Luna which sold for 35 million pesos was once owned by Dons Alfonso Ongpin, Luis Ma. Araneta and Arturo Rocha.

    “Botocan” by Jose Pereira (1930) uses oil on panel and has a personal note to Ongpin.

    Pereira was one of the pre-war painters in the early 20th century. “Botocan” drew in almost 200 thousand pesos.

    Teodoro Buenaventura was one of the founding teachers of the UP School of Fine Arts. His students included Tomas Bernardo, Serafin Serna and Mauro Malang Santos. His “Rio de San Juan” (1927) fetched a little over 300 thousand pesos.

    Emilio Alvero, an artist friend of Ongpin, has a personal note to the latter in the painting “Nipa Hut” (1925). This was sold for more than 600 thousand pesos.

    Other highlights of the auction were Anita Magsaysay-Ho’s “Tinapa Vendors,” said to be the artist’s personal favorite, secured a hefty 84 million pesos.

    The star lots included mid-century modern Vicente S. Manansala’s “Pila sa Bigas” drawing in an astounding 38 million pesos.

    “Views of Manila” (c. 1850) by Jose Honorato Lozano, from the Benito J. Legarda Collection was sold for 17 million pesos.

    “Côte de Bretagne” by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo went for 2.8 million pesos and is representative of the early Filipino master’s attention to detail, genteel air, and privilege as a world traveler.

    “Side Show” by H. R. Ocampo, a remarkable piece from the master colorist’s figurative phase, sold for 9 million pesos.

    “Dance of Isadora” by BenCab featuring the dancer Isadora Duncan, went for 40 million pesos.

    “New records were made which translates to more grants being awarded to the best of our Filipino artists… Thanks to all who have contributed to encouraging our Filipino artists to flourish,” quips ACC Trustee Malu Gamboa-Lindo.

    All prices mentioned are hammered prices plus the buyer’s premium. There were a total of 162 lots. To know more about ACC and its Grants Program visit