Claudio Bravo’s Manila Paintings at Metropolitan Museum

Claudio Bravo poster

It takes a sensitive person to explore deep within a painting, a portrait.
The History:

Chilean painter Claudio Bravo was born in Valparaiso, Chile in November 1936. His first exhibition was at the age of 17. In 1960’s he moved to Madrid and started to became in demand as a portrait painter. Then in 1972 he lived in Morocco until his recent death on June 4, 2011.

Claudio Bravo in the Philippines, 1968

Bravo Painting Conchita Lopez Taylor 1968
It was through the invitation of Eugenio Lopez Sr. and wife, Pacita that Claudio Bravo came to the Philippines as one of their guests at their 40th wedding anniversary. The artist’s six-month stay in the country predated the renown that was later bestowed on him as one of the world’s leading hyperrealist painters. In that short span of time, he did commissioned portraits of some of Manila’s elite personalities, the rich and famous.

As a tribute to an important hyperrealist artist (According to wikipedia, Hyperreaslism is a genre of painting and sculpture resembling a high-resolution photograph) and also a celebration of the ties between the two nations, Chile and Philippines, the Manila paintings of Claudio Bravo will be exhibited in Metropolitan Museum in Manila.

Claudio Bravo’s Sojourn in Manila, a Collection of 29 Portraits
This exhibition is presented by The Embassy of Chile and geothermal energy producer Energy Development Corporation (EDC) which will run starting September 18 (also the 202nd Anniversary of Chile’s independence) until October 20, 2012. The exhibition is open to the public and aims to highlight the strengthening of bilateral ties between the Philippines and Chile. Metropolitan Museum is inviting the public to come and see Bravo’s paintings, the first exhibition in more than four decades.

LivingMarjorney visited the Claudio Bravo’s Sojourn in Manila Exhibit:

LivingMarjorney visited the Claudio Bravo’s Sojourn in Manila Exhibit
I am fortunate to join a small group of bloggers at the Metropolitan Museum in Manila for the Claudio Bravo exhibition, more so listening to the talk of curator Ms. Tat’s Manahan.

It was my first time at the Metropolitan Museum but I’ve been to other museums in the past. I never got the chance to see the latter. I was able to visit the Lopez Museum in Ortigas, the Museo Walo in the South, the Museo Pambata and even small museums in the metro. Museum is close to my heart, I am not saying I’m familiar and mastered arts, designs and installations though. I simply like exhibitions! and I’m glad these are now even done in the malls.  

Curator Tat’s Manahan
We were fortunate to have Ms. Tats who gave short yet significant stories behind every paintings.
Just before we start the tour, we met Chilean Ambassador, Roberto Mayorga and his wife, Paulina.

Chilean Ambassador, Roberto Mayorga and his wife, Paulina. Tats Manahan and the Bloggers at the Metropolitan Museum Tats Manahan and the Bloggers at the Metropolitan Museum The Metropolitan Museum Claudio Bravo Soujourn in Manila at The Metropolitan Museum

Portraits with vibrant colors captures my attention. I stand in awe as I look at every beautiful pieces in the gallery. Bravo uses charcoal, pastel on paper, conte crayon and was so particular with every detail such as the drapes, the background highlighting the interest of the subjects just like Ms. Imelda Marcos’ painting holding a parasol. He brought out something in his subject - the emotion, the classical poses, the smile and its totality. His style is close of the Renaissance-baroque tradition.
Their poise, their emotions are so real.  It really takes a special artists to bring all those elements.

Conchita TaylorMargarita delos reyesPortrait of Chona R. Kasten, Claudio Bravo, graphite charcoal conte crayon and pastel on paper, 1Evelyn Forbes
From Left to Right: Portrait of Conchita Taylor; Portrait of Margarita Delos Reyes; Portrait of Chona R. Kasten, Claudio Bravo, graphite charcoal conte crayon and pastel on paper; Portrait of Evelyn Forbes, 1968;

Regina DeeImelda R. Marcos, Claudio Bravo, graphite charcoal and contePortrait of Ma. Lourdes Araneta Fores, Claudio Bravo, 1968
Portrait of Regina Dee, 1968; Imelda R. Marcos, Claudio Bravo, graphite charcoal and conte; Portrait of Ma. Lourdes Araneta Fores,1968.

From the collection, the portraits in vibrant colors got my attention. The portraits of Ma. Lourdes Araneta Fores and Regina Dee (the only one in canvas) was so dramatic, stunning!

Looking at these portraits, I suddenly remember my younger years. Yes, I also love to draw and had few paintings on a canvas. A stone house in a secluded area; a nipa house near a river and another one at the middle of the forest. Water, moon and the sky are favorite subjects. Unfortunately, they were all gone and no where to find. The museums reminds me of it and tells me that I should have not stopped! And every time I was invited to feature museums in my blog, the memories keep coming back. My last painting was about a house without a home, standing in the middle of the forest.
Paintings are reflection of who you are. Though we’re in the age when almost everything is  possible with just a click of a finger, there’s no way we can compare the beauty and work of art of a true artist. Indeed, the work of art becomes the museum.

Drawing Session & Still life Paintings at the Met MuseumDrawing Session & Still Paintings at the Met Museum

Metropolitan Museum is proud to put together in exhibit Bravo’s paintings and drawings in the past four decades. It’s a must see exhibition! Although the collection features the portraits of the rich and the famous in 1968, you’ll feel proud of yourself because you’re also a Filipino.

There are other activities happening at the museum including drawing sessions and still life painting by Cid Reyes. Before we left, we took time to visit the basement section and saw ornaments and jewelries.

**Other photos courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum**

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.
Museum Hours: 9am – 6pm, Mondays to Saturdays
Telephone No: 708-7829 or visit


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