Botong Francisco
National Artist for Painting (1973)

(November 4, 1912 – March 31, 1969)

Carlos “Botong” Francisco, the poet of Angono, single-handedly revived the forgotten art of mural and remained its most distinguished practitioner for nearly three decades. In panels such as those that grace the City Hall of Manila, Francisco turned fragments of the historic past into vivid records of the legendary courage of the ancestors of his race. He was invariably linked with the “modernist” artists, forming with Victorio C. Edades and Galo Ocampo what was then known in the local art circles as “The Triumvirate”. Botong’s unerring eye for composition, the lush tropical sense of color and abiding faith in the folk values typified by the townspeople of Angono became the hallmark of his art.

Harana, 1957

Harana, 1957 (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Collection)

His other major works include the following: Portrait of Purita, The Invasion of Limahong, Serenade, Muslim Betrothal, Blood Compact, First Mass at Limasawa, The Martyrdom of Rizal, Bayanihan, Magpupukot, FiestaBayanihan sa Bukid, Sandugo.

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