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Toribio Herrera Sold at Auction Prices

b. 1912 - d. 1968

Toribio Herrera was born in Tondo and graduated with a degree in Medicine from UST in 1912. He took a second course to earn a Fine Arts degree from UP. As a physician, Dr. Herrera’s intimate understanding of human anatomy made him the school’s most prominent teacher of that subject, as well as of perspective.

He served as a meticulous mentor to generations of UP Fine Arts students, including Vicente Manansala, Carlos Francisco, Cesar Legaspi, Napoleon Abueva, Jose Joya, Abdulmari Imao and Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, who all became National Artists. Other notable visual artists who came under his tutelage were the painter Araceli Dans and the popular cartoonist Lauro Alcala.

Ironically, in his lifetime, Dr. Herrera never exhibited his works in public, eschewing monetary rewards for his art. He never attempted to sell a painting while he lived. The first exhibition of his works was held in 1972, four years after his death.

Now, 37 years later, his available works and memorabilia are again showcased as a tribute to the doctor who became an excellent painter of classic rural scenes. Among his favorite subjects were countryside images: mountains, rivers, brooks, flowers, women traversing dirt roads during the rainy season, lavanderas, and ladies formally clad in a terno.

One of the paintings on exhibit is Herrera’s classic “Monsoon Rain,” a 20” by 26 5/8” oil on canvas dated 1955. It shows his full mastery of human anatomy, as manifested by the twisting torso and backside of a woman buffeted by strong winds.
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“After Mass,” a 16” by 12” oil on lawanit, dated 1951, shows a lady in a terno, with a parasol shielding her head and shoulders from the harsh sun. The interplay of glorious sunlight and moving shadows, also seen in the parallel images of a young girl covering her face with a fan and a woman vendor in salakot seated on the church patio, both in the background, suggests that Dr. Herrera was a peer of the great Amorsolo in more ways than one. Masterful too in terms of composition is the inclusion, almost as a mysterious afterthought, of a man wearing a dark hat who has just emerged from behind a large central pillar

Another painting, also owned by the Herrera Family Estate, whose date is ineligible but is likely to also be circa 1950s, is “Virginal Lagoon,” an 18 7/8” x 26 1/16” oil on canvas, depicting a shimmering waterscape with attendant sunlit glory gently assaulting tropical vegetation.

If only for these three obra maestras, a visit to the GSIS gallery should be well worth it. The exhibit also includes Dr. Herrera’s old photographs, medical paraphernalia, as well as art materials that were saved when his original house was burned.

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      • Toribio Herrera (1892 - 1968) - Communion
        Oct. 17, 2020

        Toribio Herrera (1892 - 1968) - Communion

        Est: ₱70,000 - ₱91,000

        Toribio Herrera (1892 - 1968) Communion signed (lower right) oil on panel 19” x 39” (48 cm x 99 cm)

        Leon Gallery
      • Dr. Toribio Herrera (1892 - 1968)
        Sep. 22, 2018

        Dr. Toribio Herrera (1892 - 1968)

        Est: ₱80,000 - ₱85,000

        Untitled (Man with Turban)

        Salcedo Auctions
      • Dr. Toribio Herrera (1888-1968)
        Jul. 30, 2016

        Dr. Toribio Herrera (1888-1968)

        Est: ₱18,000 - ₱23,400

        Dr. Toribio Herrera (1888-1968) Tree signed and dated 1952 (lower right) oil on board 9” x 13” (23 cm x 33 cm) J.Antonio Araneta Collection

        Leon Gallery
      • Dr. Toribio Herrera (1888-1968)
        Jun. 13, 2015

        Dr. Toribio Herrera (1888-1968)

        Est: ₱120,000 - ₱156,000

        Copia de Spoliarium 1881

        Leon Gallery
      • Toribio Herrera - Lavandera
        Mar. 07, 2015

        Toribio Herrera - Lavandera

        Est: ₱395,000 - ₱420,000

        31 x 43.8 cm (12 1/4 x 17 1/4 in); oil on board; 1934

        Salcedo Auctions
      • Dr. Toribio Herrera (1888 - 1968)
        Sep. 13, 2014

        Dr. Toribio Herrera (1888 - 1968)

        Est: ₱30,000 - ₱39,000

        Dr. Toribio Herrera (1888 - 1968) Napakiao na yatang lahat ang isda, wala na akong aabutan signed (lower right) titled and dedicated (in verso) oil on canvas 11 1/2" x 16 1/4" (29 cm x 41 cm)

        Leon Gallery
      • Dr. Toribio Herrera
        Jun. 21, 2014

        Dr. Toribio Herrera

        Est: ₱18,000 - ₱23,400

        Dr. Toribio Herrera Tree signed (lower right)

        Leon Gallery
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