We have made the beautiful painting above our screensaver and now I’ve put it on t&f you can too! I love looking at it; the precise sense of perspective in the floor tiles and the woman’s red skirt, the little subplots around the table, and the overall sense of authenticity. My favourite character is the dude with his back to the others searching his pocket for a few coins to buy, what …? Another hand at panguingue (a card game)? The loose fitting clothes and hats are really cool too, so much more practical than the jeans worn in modern Manila.
Of all the foreigners who have washed up on the seven thousand islands, Taviel de Andrade is one of the most interesting. He is most famous for being José Rizal’s jailer, though in fact the two young men became fast friends during the five months they spent together, brought together in part by a shared love of art. Here is a description of how Taviel de Andrade came to be here from Islas Filipinas (1663–1888), a book I mentioned last year:
José Taviel de Andrade first came to the Philippines in 1879 as a 22-year-old soldier. His youth notwithstanding, he had experienced combat in the duty on the African coast and Spain … It became apparent that being a soldier did not suit his temperament, however his family which belonged to Spanish nobility, expected him to pursue a career in the military.
Taviel de Andrade knocked around the Islas Filipinas for the next ten years although when the revolution broke out he was assigned to Cuba. The beautiful “Panguingue” is his finest extant work and, in the words of the authors of Islas Filipinas “one of the most important masterpieces in Philippine art”.
By the way, if you are interested, Islas Filipinas is for sale at the Ayala Museum and Libros Filipinos bookstore, though it is not cheap I’m afraid. And finally my introduction to Taviel de Andrade was through the always excellent pupuplatter, whose most recent post contains more insights into the attire of Filipinos in the Spanish era.