Félix Resurrección Hidalgo

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Félix Resurrección Hidalgo
Self portrait of Félix Resurrección Hidalgo.jpg
Self Portrait (1901), Private collection of Tony and Cecile Gutiérrez, Makati City.
Félix Resurrección Hidalgo y Padilla

(1855-02-21)February 21, 1855
DiedMarch 13, 1913(1913-03-13) (aged 58)
Resting placeCementerio del Norte, Manila
Known forPainting, drawing
Notable work
Las vírgenes Cristianas expuestas al populacho, 1884,

La barca de Aqueronte, 1887

in museums:


Félix Resurrección Hidalgo y Padilla (February 21, 1855 – March 13, 1913) was a Filipino artist. He is acknowledged as one of the greatest Filipino painters of the late 19th century, and is significant in Philippine history for having been an acquaintance and inspiration for members of the Philippine reform movement which included José Rizal, Marcelo del Pilar, Mariano Ponce and Graciano López Jaena, although he neither involved himself directly in that movement, nor later associate himself with the First Philippine Republic under Emilio Aguinaldo.

His winning the silver medal in the 1884 Madrid Exposition of Fine Arts, along with the gold win of fellow Filipino painter Juan Luna, prompted a celebration which was a major highlight in the memoirs of members of the Philippine reform movement, with Rizal toasting to the two painters' good health and citing their win as evidence that Filipinos and Spaniards were equals.[1]

The murder of Governor-general Fernando Manuel de Bustillo Bustamente y Rueda painting by Félix Resurrección Hidalgo at Philippine National Museum of Fine Arts

Early life and education[edit]

Hidalgo was born in Binondo, Manila on February 21, 1855. He was the third of seven children of Eduardo Resurrección Hidalgo and María Bárbara Padilla. He studied in the University of Santo Tomas. He studied law, which he never finished, received a bachiller en filosifía degree in March 1871. He was simultaneously enrolled at the Escuela de Dibujo y Pintura. In 1876, he previewed his La barca (The Native Boat), Vendedora de lanzones (Lanzones Vendor) and other paintings at the Teatro Circo de Bilibid before they were sent to the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania of that year. In 1878, he painted the poignant and well-crafted Los mendigos (The Beggars).

Life abroad[edit]

In 1877, Resurrección Hidalgo was awarded second place in the contest for best cover design for the de luxe edition of Fr. Manuel Blanco's Flora de Filipinas ("Plants of the Philippines"). In 1879, Hidlago left for Spain as a pensionado in fine arts of the Ayuntamiento of Manila.

His Las Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacho (The Christian virgins Exposed to the Populace), was awarded the ninth silver medal at the 1884 Exposición General de Bellas Artes in Madrid.[2][3][4] This showed a group of boorish looking males mocking semi-naked female Christians, one of whom is seated in the foreground, with head bowed in misery. In the same exposition, Luna's Spoliarium was awarded a gold medal.

In the Exposición General de las Islas Filipinas in Madrid in 1887, Hidalgo presented La barca de Aqueronte ("The Boat of Charon"),1887, and Laguna estigia ("The Styx"), 1887, for which he received a gold medal. La barca was again shown at the Exposition Universelle in Paris and was awarded a silver medal by an international jury. In 1891 it was accorded a diploma of honor at the Exposición General de Bellas Artes of Barcelona. This painting also received a gold medal in the International Exposition of Fine Arts in Madrid during the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.

La Barca de Aqueronte, 1887, Museo Nacional de Pintura (Madrid).

He exhibited Adios del Sol ("Farewell to, the Sun"), 1891 at the Exposición Internacional de Bellas Artes in Madrid in that year and El crepusculo ("The Dawn"), 1893, at the Universal exposition in Chicago, also in that year. He showed both paintings again at the Exposición Artistica de Bilbao in August 1894. In the Exposición Regional de Filipinas in Manila in January 1895, Hidalgo was represented by his paintings done in the grand romantic manner. In April of the same year he exhibited Oedipus y Antigone ("Oedipus and Antigone"), El violinista ("The Violinist"), Cabeza napolitana ("Head of a Neapolitan"), Cabeza del viejo ("Head of an Old Man"), Un religioso ("A Religious"), and others at the Salon at Champs-Élysées, Paris.

Hidalgo received a gold medal for his overall participation at the Universal Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri in 1904. His El violinista was individually accorded a gold medal. In 1912, he visited his relatives in Manila for six months, after which he hurried back to Paris. His mother, who had not seen him for 30 years, wanted him to be with her in her last days but he had to leave. The following year, Resurrección Hidalgo died in Barcelona where he went to recuperate from failing health. His remains were brought to Manila, where it now lies entombed in the family mausoleum at the Cementerio del Norte.

Books and Publications[edit]

  • Félix Resurrección Hidalgo & the Generation of 1872 by Alfredo R. Roces, Eugenio López Foundation, 1998.
  • A Guide to Luna and Hidalgo Paintings in the López Memorial Museum by Lopez Museum, Eugenio López Foundation, 1979.

Major Artworks[edit]


In 1988, Hidalgo and works of his contemporary Juan Luna were jointly exhibited in a major retrospective exhibition, First National Juan Luna and Félix Resurrección Hidalgo Commemorative Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila featuring works gathered from leading public and private collections.[5] In 2019, La Pintura, an early painting by Hidalgo was sold for a record PHP 78.256 million (US$ 1.51 million) at Salcedo Auctions in the Philippines, becoming the most expensive artwork sold by the artist internationally.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guerrero, Leon Ma. (1974). The first Filipino: A biography of Jose Rizal. National Historical Commission: Manila
  2. ^ Ocampo, Ambeth R. (2001, Feb 14). Appreciating Luna and Hidalgo's Paintings. Philippine Daily Inquirer. p. A9
  3. ^ Ocampo, Ambeth R. (2000, March 15). Interiors of Hidalgo's Paris Studio. Philippine Daily Inquirer. p. 9
  4. ^ see also: Gaceta de Madrid, no. 164, 12/06/1884, p. 694
  5. ^ The First National Juan Luna and Félix Resurrección Hidalgo Commemorative Exhibition. Manila: Metropolitan Museum of Manila. 1988.
  6. ^ "From P18M, "La Pintura" by Hidalgo sells for a record-breaking P78M". ABS-CBN News Channel. 21 September 2019.