The beauty of the dalagang Filipina has always been a constant preoccupation of Amorsolo's. He once remarked, "My conception of the idea Filipina beauty is one with a rounded face, not of the oval type often presented to us in newspaper and magazine illustrations. The eyes should be exceptionally lively, not the dreamy sleepy type... The nose should be of the blunt form but firm and strongly marked... The ideal Filipina beauty should have a sensuous mouth, not the type of the pouting mouth of the early days... So, the ideal Filipino beauty should not necessarily be white-complexioned, not of the dark brown colour of the typical Malayan, but of the clear skin or flesh-coloured type which we often witness when we meet a blushing girl." (Alfredo R. Roces, Amorsolo, Filipinas Foundation, Manila, 1975, p. 90).
The present work was completed in 1936, when the world was in the cusp of a revolutionary change. By the following year, women would have full voting rights, and the art world of the Philippines was in turmoil, with the Modernists fighting to be heard. The flood of change seemed unstoppable, but Amorsolo still upheld his belief. By depicting the ideal Filipina beauty on her way home, with her laundry in one basket and a banga (earthen pot) on her head and the romantic glow of the sunset behind her, the artist held on to the ideologies of beauty and nostalgia. He raised the level of genre painting to such heights that his peers emulated him, copied him or rebelled against him entirely. Whatever the case may be, he is unquestionably the most influential artist in the history of the Philippines.
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