Largest Anita Magsaysay-Ho masterpiece to be auctioned

Largest Anita Magsaysay-Ho masterpiece to be auctioned

Through her dramatic and ethereal play of light, pillar of Filipino modernist art Anita Magsaysay-Ho has been known for perfectly depicting women at work, landscapes, Philippine genre scenes and harvest.  This year, her largest work to be auctioned “Fish Harvest at Dawn,” which emphasizes a celebration of sisterhood and memories, takes the spotlight on the Leon Gallery Spectacular Mid-Year Auction 2015.

“Fish Harvest at Dawn” by Anita Magsaysay-Ho
“Fish Harvest at Dawn” by Anita Magsaysay-Ho

“It is to date the largest work by this highly esteemed artist to have been offered on the market,” shared Leon Gallery director Jaime Ponce de Leon.


The said auction will also feature properties from the celebrated collection of Joe and Nene Guevara, including the works of Filipino masters Carlos “Botong” Francisco, Ang Kiukok and Vicente Manansala to name a few. `


Botong’s oil on canvas Landscape from 1969 shows his mastery of plen air or outdoor painting. Just like his other works, the vibrant colors and hues of this painting represent a feel of our culture and tradition even without the human element.

Ang’s “Crucifixion,” on the other hand, forms part of the imagery of the chaotic 1960s. Through his works, Ang wants to convey how it is to be a suffering human being.

Aside from Manansala’s 1975 masterpiece “Nude,” the gallery also holds his 1963 creation “Golgotha,” a crucifix that demonstrates a more severe geometric faceting.

Bringing only the finest of Philippine art, paintings done by National Artists Fernando Amorsolo, Jose Joya, Hernando R. Ocampo and Benedicto Cabrera also lie at the core of Leon Gallery’s collection.

Guests can marvel in Amorsolo’s “War-Time Market Scene” – an oil in wood panting created during his “Golden Period” (1920-1945), which depicts the typical market scene, but with the tension of an observing Japanese soldier.

Showing the architectonic impulse of artist Jose Joya, on the other hand, is a 1972 piece titled “Broken Kites” – a colorful abstracted composition depicting kites.

Another classic part of the auction is Hernando R. Ocampo’s “Mother and Child” (1970), which represents the universals: emphasis, unity, contrast and filial love.

To help fund the year-round serial exhibition of BenCab’s art production “BenCab:50 Golden Years,” Leon Gallery will also auction the artist’s depiction of Iza Calzado in the role of Sabel.  “Iza as Sabel” shows Bencab’s ever recurring theme of women in draperies – an outfit whose manifold convolutions somehow represent their own language.

Aside from paintings, the auction will further feature the antiques such as Solomon Saprid’s sculptured work “Mother and Child” (1973) and Philippines late 17th or early 18th century large ivory figure of the Virgin and Child.

Last but not the least, included in the line-up of Leon Gallery’s sought after treasures are the desk-and-chair pair by the most remarkable Filipino furniture maker of the 19th century Isabelo Tampinco. Currently, these are the only pieces signed by its creator to be auctioned.

“We are propelled by the truism that an auction house is only as good as the treasures as it can offer. It is to this truth that Leon Gallery is committed, since our first auction in 2013 to this 2015 mid-year event,” said de Leon.


Leon Gallery Spectacular Mid-Year Auction 2015 will be held on June 13, 2015, Saturday, 2 PM at the G/F, Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Streets, Legazpi Village, Makati City. For more details, visit

Isabelo L. Tampinco (1850-1933) a.) Desk 1901 Narra and Balayong H:46 3/4” x L;37” x W;22 ½” (119 cm x 94 cm x 57 cm)  b.) Chair signed and dated 1901 Narra and Balayong H:41” x L:21” x W:19” (104 cm x 53 cm x 48 cm)



Isabelo L. Tampinco (1850-1933)

a.) Desk 1901 Narra and Balayong H:46 3/4” x L;37” x W;22 ½” (119 cm x 94 cm x 57 cm)
b.) Chair signed and dated 1901 Narra and Balayong H:41” x L:21” x W:19” (104 cm x 53 cm x 48 cm)



Signed pieces of furniture by Isabelo Tampinco are very rare. This small writing desk and chair are one, if not the only one, in existence. They are not only signed, but even have the Tampinco label pasted at the bottom of the chair. They are superb examples of the carber’s art, with every detail crisply executed.

The desk is small that it almost seems like a lady’s writing desk. The delicately formed cabriole legs are carved with acanthus leaves at the shoulders, the same leaves forming a classical frieze around the frame and the drawer face, making the latter almost like a secret drawer. The front corners of the table are carved with a winged cherub.

The table edge is carved with a frieze of oak leaves and acorns intertwined with ribbons. The rear of the desk has a pair of very low, quadrant-shaped, detachable shelves resting on small miniature turned spools. Behind each shelf is a vertical carved scroll with an acanthus bud so crisply carved that it is almost in the round. These scrolls flank a circular panel carved with an olive wreath framing a figure of a Joan of Arc-like woman on a pedestal in the act of unsheathing a sword. An olive branch and a palm leaf on either side of the figure have putti in front holding large cartouches intertwined with ribbons carved with the motto “Uphold the right to prevent the wrong.” The motto is very enigmatic.

The chair, which is extremely heavy, also has cabriole legs identical to that of the desk. The seat frame is crisply carved with a frieze of ask leaves and acorns intertwined with ribbons. Small horizontal beaded scrolls at the rear seemingly support the almost-vertical back. Designed in the shape of a tabernacle framing an angel with arms upholding a sign carved with the word ‘BENEDICITE’, the sides of the back are in the form of pilasters supporting an entablature. A fall of laurel leaves are carved on the pier of each pilaster.

Hernando R. Ocampo (1911-1978) Mother and Child signed and dated 1970 (lower right) oil on canvas 28” x 24” (71 cm x 61 cm)



Hernando R. Ocampo (1911-1978)

Mother and Child signed and dated 1970 (lower right) oil on canvas 28” x 24” (71 cm x 61 cm)




Cerebral was H.R Ocampo, a distinguished man of letters before he became an artist who upheld the primacy of ideas. His faculties probed meanings hidden behind visual and tactile realities. From particular he progressed into universals-all timely, timeless and culture-free. The universals: emphasis, unity, contrast.

“Mother and Child” carries these universals. The subjects vary in age, one of the two subjects emphasized (child), despite the billing, and are one by reason of the face-to-face relationship of the two figures. The result is filial love which is universal.

This painting is HR’s discourse on the primacy and centrality of family in the Family of Man.

Ronald Ventura (b. 1973) Journey signed amd dated 2006 (lower left) oil on canvas 60’ x 48” (152 cm x 122 cm)



     Ronald Ventura (b. 1973)

    Journey signed amd dated 2006 (lower left) oil on canvas 60’ x 48” (152cm x         122 cm)




Ventura’s creativity has gone through many evolutions and does not get stuck in a particular style or formula: there is always something surprisingly fresh. The artist always offers novel works that incorporate familiar images, using different media or fresh bundling to create intricate compositions that remain identifiably “Ronald Ventura.”

The horse and the rider is both a classical subject that has been around for thousands of years, and a recurring subject in Ronald Ventura’s contemporary imaginarium. As familiar as the theme may be, what is involved in Ventura’s work is a process of defamiliarization or alienation – a Brechtian principle applied in the visual arts in the same way that an experience in theater was not only to be an emotional situation that the audience empathized with, but an interactive process stimulating the critical functions of the viewer. Two naked figures. A grown man with a mask and a boy on a horse are depicted in “The Journey.” Providing the defamiliarization is the single wheel on which the horse is attached to.

The exquisite, supple tonal treatment of the musculature of both the figures and the bronze black horse lend drama to this work. Much of the classical aspect of Ventura’s figures derives from the artist’s choice of a smooth, marmoreal tone rather than a realistic light brown cast.

Ventura admits to loving multiple realities even if the create contradictions. And all of this is done with an immediacy, a freshness and an authenticity which we are unaccustomed to.

Jose Joya (1931-1995) Broken Kites signed and dated 1972 (lower left) oil on wood 48” x 64” (122 cm x 163 cm)



Jose Joya (1931-1995)

Broken Kites signed and dated 1972 (lower left) oil on wood 48” x 64” (122 cm x 163 cm)


“During the earlier stages of my painting career, I started naturally with preliminary studies and sketches. That’s because I didn’t have much control of the paint as I do now. In any case, a preliminary design is merely to ‘concretize’ whatever hazy visual idea I have in mind. But in the actual process of painting, I very seldom refer to this design, most often, if not always, the final painting doesn’t anywhere resemble the original sketch. Now that I have more control of the situation, I find no need for a preliminary design whatsoever. I know exactly where the splash of paint will fall, and with regards to the element of chance or accident, I believe that that, too, can be controlled. Accident then becomes an integral part of the painting.”

In his youth, Joya initially wanted to become an architect, but the mathematics and science discouraged him. Yet the viewer can still discern the architectonic impulse in this abstracted composition depicting kites.

“Broken Kites” was done in 1972.


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