Who is Damian Domingo?

I've always been fascinated with the arts. That is why I enjoy trips to museums, and I particularly spend much quality time admiring paintings. I'm a frustrated painter. I may be good in cartooning, but I never had talent for painting. Well, does nail painting count? :D Anyway, in a recent book launch, I got to know about Damian Domingo -- the father of Filipino painting! It's amazing how much there is still to know about the Philippines and its people.

It was December 9, 2010. A book launch was held at the Ayala Museum in Makati City. Vital new data about Damian Domingo that were discovered over the past 20 years paved way to the publishing of this first full-length documentary biography of Damian Domingo, a Filipino master before Juan Luna and Felix Resurrección Hidalgo.

Damian Domingo
The Life, Art, and Times of Damian Domingo by Luciano P.R. Santiago.

Damian Domingo is a Chinese mestizo who was well known as the first Filipino master of the portrait. He was also the first art teacher and director at the Philippine Academy of Drawing, the first Philippine art academy, that was established in Tondo, Manila. Through the years, there was little information about Damian Domingo. Thanks to researcher and author Luciano P.R. Santiago, he found significant new data that includes Domingo's last will and testament and some of his works.

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I attended this event with my Christmas Cupcake nail art.

Damian Domingo was often commissioned by government officials and other prominent figures of society. He was famous for his miniature portraits as he can capture in painting faces whom he'd seen even only for a few times. This actually captivated his clients because during his time (first part of the 19th century), suitors were not allowed to visit their ladies. They had to be content with looking upon the beauty of their belles across the street. Damian Domingo surprises these suitors with remarkable likeness of each lady in miniature portraits.

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This is Luciano P.R. Santiago, giving an author's remarks during the book launch.

The Life, Art, and Times of Damian Domingo is definitely a substantial addition to the Philippine Art History. The 224 pages book is published by Vibal Foundation and is also available in e-book version through Vee Press.


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