Oil on Canvas, 1958. The Burning of the Idols by Fernando Amorsolo is on exhibit at the Ayala Museum, Makati City. There are also several of his other paintings from different time periods in the Amorsolo display areas.
The scene in this painting is assumed to represent a time soon after the Spanish had arrived and the local populations were converting to Christianity (by force, coercion, or voluntarily) from their previous religions that combined animism, ancestor worship, and polytheism in some areas.
The 50s in the Philippines, when this painting was created, was a time for rebuilding after WWII and Filipino culture/ content was being assimilated with Western style and ‘sensibilities.’ It made me wonder if Amorsolo created this piece as an important reminder of the past, or a complex warning of the future. Perhaps it is both.
I shared an image of this painting in my last post about the Ayala Museum but wanted to share with everyone that it can currently be viewed for free from outside the museum. Near the end of Greenbelt 5, on the ground floor, you will see an Ayala Museum display window facing Zen Pond. That is where you will find the painting. I’ve included more photos for your reference. I very much encourage people to visit the museum if it is within your means (650PHP), but don’t pass up the opportunity to view this wonderful piece of history for free! There is no guarantee it will be there permanently.
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