By the 1920s, Fernando Amorsolo had mastered the Filipino genre painting, with its idyllic renditions of country life against the backdrop of the lushness of the landscape. From his academic background, the artist learnt to make meticulous studies of the human form. Amorsolo was an aesthete who hoped to emphasise the finer qualities of his country and people, from the beauty of the natural environment to the natural graces of the common people and the dignity of their life and labour.
Amorsolo's earliest paintings on this subject feature life in the fields. Workers in the Field ostensibly celebrate farming life and the majesty of the sunny Filipino landscape, with their impeccable compositions and voluptuous colours. But perhaps what they really celebrate are the charms of the dalagangs. Amid the row of workers bent down towards the ground in the act of planting rice, the only upright figure is the dalagang Filipina.
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