The wish to be remembered after one is gone is only human. People live on, in the stories we conjure as we view portraits. Through their faces, expressions, finery and pose---we see people as the artists saw them.
In Pampanga, there was no lack of portrait sitters as the numerous members of the landed gentry sought the services of itinerant artists. The most prominent name is Manila –born Simon Flores de la Rosa (1839), who settled in Bacolor and made the rounds of Kapampangan towns, and a handful of his portraits form part of his legacy.
QUIASON FAMILY (San Fernando)
Two Flores portraits of the Quiason Family of San Fernando, headed by Cirilo Cunanan Quiason are still existence today. Cirilo and his 2 brothers, Lucio and Pablo, were successful landowners and traders, and each one commissioned Flores to create family portraits. The first painting depicts him, at age 33 and his wife Severina David Henson along with their two children painted in 1875. The artwork costs 50 pesos per head, in gold coins, for a total of 200 pesos. The seated baby is named Jose. The older child holding a prayer book is Aureo. The seated baby, Jose, was originally painted naked. He was teased about this when he grew up, so he burned the part that showed his genitals. The painting has been restored since.
The second painting shows the expanded family, painted after 1875. They would have 9 children in all. Ceferina became a widow after Cirilo was accused by the town friar of engaging in seditious acts. The friar, who had romantic designs on his daughter Rosaruo, was rebuffed by Cirilo, who was then captured and tortured.
ANDREA DAYRIT (Sta. Ana)
In the town of Sta. Ana, Flores painted the pretty Andrea Dayrit. Her portrait hung in the 1840s Dizon house, famous in its time for its late Neoclassical and English Regency architectural details. Portrait of Andrea Dayrit by Simon Flores, circa 1870s, Oil on canvas, 81 X 58 cm.
MIGUELA HENSON (Mexico)
Mexico has a couple of Flores portraits, and the most well-known is that of long-haired Miguela Henson in front of her Isabelina-style dresser. It is now in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas collection. Ca. 1880s.
MSGR. IGNACIO TAMBUNGUI (Bacolor)
Flores, who settled in San Vicente in Bacolor, also painted portraits of his wife, Simplicia Tambungui, originally from Guagua, but no work survived.However, in 1890, he painted a portrait of his brother Monsignor Ignacio Pineda Tambungui , a canon of the Manila Cathedral and a chaplain at the San Juan de Dios Hospital. In return, Msgr. Tambungui gave his brother-in-law church decorating-commissions in Pampanga towns.
DON JOSE LEON SANTOS (Bacolor)
Bacolor’s most influential couple in the 1850s also sat for Flores. Don Jose Leon y Santos was one of the sons of gobernadorcillo Francisco Paula de los Santos, Gobernadorcillo and Doña Luisa Gonzaga de Leon. Jose Leon Santos became the gobernadorcillo of Bacolor in 1857. The oil portrait of him was done in August 1887 when he was 59 years old.
DOÑA RAMONA JOVEN (Bacolor)
Don Jose Leon y Santos was first married to Arcadia Joven y Suarez. Upon her death, Leon Santos wed her sister, Ramona Joven. Her portrait was completed in August 1882. Both paintings now hang at the Museo de La Salle.
OLEGARIO RODRIGUEZ (Bacolor)
One of the earliest known works of Flores, dates from 1862,--when he was just 23. It is that of Don Olegario Rodriguez (1806/1874), patriarch of the still-flourishing Rodriguez clan of Bacolor, when the subject was “56 anos.” Rodriguez is shown wearing the European black coat with tails, embroidered “nipis” shirt of “pina”, and trousers of a “principalia,” seated on an armchair. Until Pinatubo of 1991, it used to hang in the sala of his ancestral house but has since been secured by Rodriguez descendants in Manila.
SEVERINA OCAMPO DE ARROYO
In Candaba, Flores painted portraits of two matrons, both from the affluent landowning class. The first portrait is that of Severina Ocampo de Arroyo, noted for her serious, icy stare. A virina-encased ivory santo is shown beside her. ca. 1885.
QUINTINA CASTOR DE SADIE (Candaba)
Another portrait done of a rich lady of the house is that of hefty Quintina Castor de Sadie, nicknamed “Fat Woman from Candaba.” The two Candaba portraits were formerly owned by banker Manuel Martinez Dizon, which he later sold to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in the 1980s.
Quiason Family: https://www.geringerart.com/artists/simon-de-la-rosa-flores/
Andrea Dayrit: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1048447
Miguela Henson: Ambeth Ocampo FB page: https://www.facebook.com/47261762634/photos/a.10151090704437635.435397.47261762634/10151711186057635/?type=3&theater
Msgr. Ignacio Tambungui: Kasaysayan
Jose Leon Santos, Ramona Joven: http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/masterpiece/detail.nhn?objectId=11613
Olgario Rodriguez: http://rodriguezofbacolor.wikifoundry.com/page/Photo+Gallery
Severina Ocampo de Arroyo: http://rubens.anu.edu.au/htdocs/surveys/charlotte/byartist/display00306.html
Quintina castor de Sadie: https://firstname.lastname@example.org/first-time-in-national-museum-of-fine-arts-53c7cac90f1b
Remembrances of Things Awry: https://remembranceofthingsawry.wordpress.com/2006/08/22/the-celebrated-quiason-portrait/