Lot 316
  • 316

Anita Magsaysay-Ho

900,000 - 1,500,000 HKD
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Anita Magsaysay-Ho
  • Mga Naglalako Ng Manok (Chicken of the Naglalako)
  • Signed and dated 1957

  • Oil on canvas
  • 71 by 56 cm.; 28 by 22 in.


Private Collection, USA

Sotheby's, Singapore, April 2, 2000, Lot 143


Purita Kalaw-Ledesma and Alice Guerrero Guillermo, Anita Magsaysay-Ho, A Retrospective, The Metropolitan Museum of Manila, 1988, p. 80, illustrated in colour


This painting is in good condition overall, as is the canvas, which is clear and taut. Indications of minor wear and handling are found along the edges and margins of the painting, but are not visible when framed. There are some minor scattered areas of craquelures on the upper middle register (forehead of the figure on the top left), which are most obvious; also on the lower right and lower left margin. There is also slight abrasion on the upper middle register with two spots of media accretion on the bottom middle margin (the chicken). The paint layer is well preserved and in good condition overall. Examination under ultraviolet light reveals some scattered spots of minor retouching, with the main area being in the middle bottom register, left portion of the upper register, lower part of the upper left quadrant (in the hair of the figure), and the lower left margin (the basket). The color is more golden and warmer in reality than the catalogue illustration. Framed.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Anita Magsaysay-Ho returned to Manila in 1948 after a stint at the Art Students' League in New York and soon joined the Filipino artists' group, which included Hernando Ocampo, Ramon Estrella, Cesar Legaspi, Nena Saguil and Lyd Arguilla, who broke away from the academic school of painting and initiate the first modernist movement in the Philippines. Her depictions of peasant women at work in oils and the notoriously difficult medium egg tempera won immediate acclaim. By 1952, just four years after her return, she had won the Grand Prize in the Annual Art Exhibition of the Art Association of the Philippines, cementing her status within the influential group.

During her stay in America, her style changed considerably, hinting at possible influences of various artistic currents evident from the late 1920s through to the 1930s in America, including the 'proletarian' art of South American Diego Riviera. Magsaysay-Ho has often dedicated her works to the women of the Philippines; her works can be seen as a commentary on the fundamental role of the peasant woman in Filipino culture and society as well as its economy. Her paintings are a celebratory and idealistic tribute to the toil and happiness of simple peasant women, and to the nobility of life at its most elemental level.

Mga Naglalako Ng Manok (Chicken of the Naglalako) is quintessentially Anita Magsaysay-Ho's in the mid to late 1950s. The works of this period are characterised by depictions of strong, sturdy peasant women crowded within a frame, engaged in some sort of agricultural activity, in this case, chicken rearing, another common theme in her works. Often the women seem illuminated by a golden glow, as though from a dim candle, emanating from the centre of the painting. The figures are homogeneous and generalised, with neither focus nor specific individuality, in order to place emphasis on the relationship between the subjects, and hence, on the dynamics of the human forms. The interweaving connections are perceptively conveyed through the criss-crossing lines of the women's figures and limbs which echo the patterns of the baskets.

The landscapes and background are secondary elements and the colours tend to be any earthy palette of browns, greens, ochres and red. With the current Lot the subject remains the same, but the treatment has become more abstract, and in a sense, more 'cubist' and expressionistic, with a lively surface of angled shapes and lines, faces that have become even more generalised and brushwork that shows more freedom and boldness. This is a painting from an important period in Anita Magsaysay-Ho's career, showcasing the artist's work at her freest, most expressive and most intellectual phases.