Painting distorted human figures in rough, bold impasto strokes, and standing tall and singular in his advocacy and practice of what he believes is creative art, Victorio C. Edades emerged as the “Father of Modern Philippine Painting”. Unlike, Amorsolo’s bright, sunny, cheerful hues, Edades’ colors were dark and somber with subject matter or themes depicting laborers, factory workers or the simple folk in all their dirt, sweat and grime. In the 1930s, Edades taught at the University of Santos Tomas and became dean of its Department of Architecture where he stayed for three full decades. It was during this time that he introduced a liberal arts program that offers subjects as art history and foreign languages that will lead to a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. This development brought about a first in Philippine education since art schools then were vocational schools.
It was also the time that Edades invited Carlos “Botong” Francisco and Galo B. Ocampo to become professor artists for the university. The three, who would later be known as the formidable “Triumvirate”, led the growth of mural painting in the country. Finally retiring from teaching at age 70, the university conferred on Edades the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, for being an outstanding “visionary, teacher and artist.”
Among his works are The Sketch, The Artist and the Model, Portrait of the Professor, Japanese Girl, Mother and Daughter, The Wrestlers, and Poinsettia Girl.