Sculpture 07: José Rizal Depictions

Filipino reformist Jose Rizal not only inspired the early Katipunan members (though he is anti-revolutionist during his time), most especially its founder Andres Bonifacio, but also artists. Following an American regime-inspired veneration of Rizal are busts and monuments sculpted in his honour.

Here is my image collection of various sculptures of Rizal, taken at different locations. I expect this gallery to hold more images in the future.

Perhaps the most famous of the Rizal three-dimensional depictions is the monument at Luneta, Manila. This Swiss sculptor Richard Kissling’s work is, of course, a foreigner’s take on an idolised hero. This reminds me of one topic in my college history class: pangkayong pananaw is an outsider’s view of our local history, telling us that “this is what you are”. Employing pantayong pananaw, on the other hand, gives power to us Filipinos to relate our version or view of history to ourselves, thus building a stronger fabric of our identity. I am applying this theoretical perspective on sculptures. Anyway, this post is not about such grand historiographical scheme so I won’t delve into it.

Richard Kissling’s bronze rendering of Rizal in his work Motto stella erected in 1912

The following are busts made by early 20th century masters, Filipinos of course. They are displayed at a gallery dedicated to Rizal at the National Arts Gallery of the National Museum.

Isabelo Tampinco, a contemporary of Rizal, made this from plaster cast circa 1900.

Isabelo Tampinco, a contemporary of Rizal, made this from plaster cast circa 1900.

This is a wooden bust made by Graciano Nepomuceno in 1926.

This is a wooden bust made by Graciano Nepomuceno in 1926.

This is a concrete bust by the prolific Guillermo Tolentino, a National Artist. He would later pen the libretto for an opera about Rizal's novel Noli me tangere.

This is a concrete bust by the prolific Guillermo Tolentino, a National Artist. He would later pen the libretto for an opera about Rizal’s novel Noli me tangere.

This is another Guillermo Tolentino.

This is another Guillermo Tolentino.

Within the enclave of UP Diliman’s historic Palma Hall are two sculptures of Rizal.

At a small quadrangle inside Palma Hall stands this work by Domingo Celis made circa 1910-14.

At a small quadrangle inside Palma Hall stands this work by Domingo Celis made circa 1910-14.

Guarding the main entrance is another one by Guillermo Tolentino, acting as a proud sentinel of Palma Hall.

Guarding the main entrance is another one by Guillermo Tolentino, acting as a proud sentinel of Palma Hall. It was made from bronze and was finished in 1955.

Side view of the profile

Side view of the profile

I hope to add more Rizal sculptures here. In my future post are Andres Bonifacio depictions.

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