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Fabián Cueto de la Rosa (May 5, 1869 – December 14, 1937) was a Filipino painter. He was uncle and mentor to the Philippines' national artist in painting, Fernando Amorsolo, and to his brother Pablo.[1] He is regarded as a “master of genre” in Philippine art.[2][3][4][5][6]



Fabián de la Rosa was born in Paco, Manila to husband and wife Marcos de la Rosa and Gregoria Cueto. It is believed that he is the nephew of another painter, Simón Flores y de la Rosa. He married Gorgonia Tolentino.[2][4]




He received his first training in painting when he was still ten years old, from an aunt, Mariana de la Rosa. He also received training from Agustin Saez while studying at the Escuela de Bellas Artes y Dibujo (School of Fine Arts and Portraits), although he only stayed at that school for three years. He also received training from Lorenzo Guerrero and Miguel Zaragoza. In 1908, he was given the opportunity by the Germinal Cigar Factory to become a scholar in Europe, where he was able to study at the Académie Julian in Paris, France.[2][3][4]

As a professor

After traveling from Europe, he became one of the first instructors at the School of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines, where he introduced to his students the decorated form of painting. De la Rosa became the full director of the school from 1927 to 1937.[2][3][4]


Together with his wife, de la Rosa went back to Europe in 1928, where he painted in Paris for four months. He also traveled to Munich, Germany, Geneva, Switzerland, and Rome. Upon reaching Madrid, Spain, he held an exhibit of his works at the Ateneo de Madrid.[2][4][5][6]


It is believed that de la Rosa was able to paint about 1,000 works while he was still alive. De la Rosa’s works were divided by Aurelio S. Alvero into three time periods: those that are academic but are not giving importance to atmosphere and ambience; those that have academic form that gives importance to the environment that could be sensed; and those that play with the use of colors.[2][4]

The first period includes two of his works that achieved awards during an exposition in the United States in 1904. Namely: Transplanting Rice and The Death of General Lawton.[2][4]


  • Women Working in a Rice Field, 1902
  • Transplanting Rice, 1904
  • The Death of General Lawton, 1904
  • Un recuerdo de la Villa Borghese (A Remembrance of the Villa Borghese), 1909
  • Planting Rice, 109.2 x 190.6 cm, oil on canvas, 1921, National Museum Collection
  • Los Baños, watercolor, 56.2 x 66.4 cm, 1922, UP Vargas Museum
  • La pintora (Woman Painter), 1926
  • La bordadora (The Embroiderer), ca. 1926
  • Landscape with Dark Trees, 1927
  • Pasay Beach, Manila, 1927
  • Young Filipina, oil on canvas, 34.2 x 27.9 cm, 1928 , Paulino Que Collection
  • El kundiman (The Kundiman), 1930
  • Riverview of Sta. Ana, 48.2 x 64.5 cm, oil on canvas, 1938, UP Vargas Museum Collection
  • Marikina Road, ca. 1939
  • Fishermen's Huts on Balut Island, Tondo
  • View of Santa Ana
  • Marikina Valley, oil on canvas, 39.3 x 50 cm, undated, UP Vargas Museum Collection


Even after his death, de la Rosa was recognized and was given the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan (Guide of the Arts and Culture) by the City of Manila in 1968.[2][4]

De la Rosa’s Transplanting Rice received the golden award at the International Exposition held in St. Louis, Missouri in 1904. It is also during this exposition when his The Death of General Lawton was awarded the bronze prize.[2][4]

An exposition about the paintings of de la Rosa was held at the Jorge B. Vargas Museum of the University of the Philippines, in Diliman, Quezon City, on January 14, 2007. The presentation was given the title “Fabian De la Rosa (1869-1938) Retrospective Exhibition,” and was managed by the University of the Philippines with the assistance of the Spanish Program for Cultural Cooperation and Filipiniana.Net, a part of Vibal Publishing House, Inc.[7][1][8][4]


  1. ^ a b Fabian dela Rosa: Restrospective Exhibition, Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines,, 2006, retrieved on: April 7, 2008
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Fabian Cueto de la Rosa, (undated), retrieved on March 18, 2008
  3. ^ a b c Hernandez, Eloisa May P., Fabian de la Rosa, The American and Contemporary Traditions in Philippine Visual Arts,, retrieved on: April 7, 2008
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j De la Paz, Christiane. Master of Genre: Fabian Cueto dela Rosa (1869-1937), The Arts of the Philippines/Artes de las Filipinas, 2005, retrieved on April 7, 2008
  5. ^ a b Fabián de la Rosa Book Launch and Short Film Premiere, Fabián de la Rosa Book Launch and Short Film Premiere A Night of Discovery, Nostalgia, and Filipino Pride, News and Current Affairs,; “Fabián de la Rosa (1869-1937) was, much less that he served as the first Filipino dean of the 100-year old art institution, or that he was not merely the uncle of celebrated National Artist Fernando Amorsolo, but he made his own mark in the international art scene as gold medal winner in the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri”; “When the documentary was shown, many felt the swelling of Filipino pride on finding out that the 20th century master – though overshadowed by the fame of his predecessors Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo – was hailed by international critics as one of the greatest Filipino artists of all time...”, retrieved on: April 14, 2008
  6. ^ a b 1901-1940: A Moving Legacy…,, "In 1904, the Philippine Commission sent a delegation of 50 Filipino Commissioners to the Louisiana Purchase Expo or World Fair at St. Louis, Missouri USA. Native Filipinos along with an exhibit of Philippine products and replicas of ethnic villages were displayed at the said exposition… The introduction of American culture brought about the sudden modernization in Filipino cities, especially Manila. And with these changes, artists turned their attention anew to what was characteristic of the Philippines. Fabian de la Rosa and Fernando Amorsolo, two genre painters, formed the mainstream of Philippine art in the first quarter of the twentieth century..."; retrieved on: April 14, 2008
  7. ^ De Guzman, Susan, Remembering Fabian de la Rosa, A little heralded Filipino artist gets an overdue retrospective exhibition, “Fabian De la Rosa (1869-1938) Retrospective Exhibition”,, 2007, retrieved on March 19, 2008
  8. ^ Fabian dela Rosa: Retrospective Exhibition, Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines,, September 2006, retrieved on April 7, 2008

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