Amorsolo the Illustrator

Fernando C. Amorsolo was a very versatile artist who had considerable skills as an illustrator and commercial artist. Amorsolo’s ability to make money as a working artist appeared early. As a boy he sold hand-made post cards, and then as a university student he earned extra funds by illustrating several novels and also provided religious images for “Passion” books.

Here are some examples of Amorsolo’s graphic skills.

A series of lithographs made during a 7-month stay in New York in 1919 display Amorsolo’s rapidly maturing confidence as a draftsman, and his mastery of the female form.

Amorsolo’s 1919 lithograph “Maple Leaves”

Amorsolo was a nimble comic artist, and is widely credited as being the author of the first newspaper cartoon strip to be published in the Philippines, the satirical “Kiko at Angge.”

A panel from the 1922 comic strip “Kiko at Angge.”

Amorsolo’s fame grew as his fine art art images were published in the form of posters and brochure images. The tourist brochure below features a stylized Amorsolo image used to lure tourists to the Philippines.


A Philippine tourist brochure features an Amorsolo image
“Miss Philippines” appears on an Amorsolo style brochure

Above:  Amorsolo’s distinctive and alluring images of women were widely copied in the pre-war period.

Even Philippine schoolchildren were familiar with Amorsolo’s skill as an illustrator. Below, a copy of the “Philippine Reader” features an Amorsolo illustration:

Amorsolo’s illustration of a clever monkey

To learn more about Amorsolo’s career, you can read his complete biography on the Geringerart website.