The identity of the lady behind National Artist Fernando Amorsolo unfinished portrait was recently revealed to be Florencia “Nena” Singson Gonzalez-Belo, the mother of the famous Dra. Vicki Belo.
It was the National Museum which confirmed this, as the masterpiece has been placed in their Philippines’ Gallery VI since 2015, when part of the it was rearranged to feature Philippine portraiture.
The said painting was actually Amorsolo’s last work when he died on April 24, 1972 at the age of 79. It took decades before the unknown lady was named!
It came along with his studio memorabilia, pieces of furniture, and more than 100 drawings and studies as donation spearheaded by Amorsolo’s widow, Maria del Carmen Zaragoza.
The section at the National Museum devoted to Amorsolo’s portraits were consisted also of Filipina achievers, Vergel De Dios, Alicia Callejo Castro, and Dr. Felicidad Cruz Castro.
In 2016, the curators started the hunt with a lead coming from Judy Araneta Roxas who was certain that the unfinished portrait was that of Florencia “Nena” Belo.
Supporting it with research and thorough inspections in archives for more than two years, they found out that indeed Amorsolo’s portrait belonged to Belo.
Filmmaker Quark Henares, Vicki Belo’s son, verified this claim, so did his mother via a backstory in her Instagram.
“All my mom’s five sisters had Amorsolo portraits and when I asked her why she didn’t have any, she said that she has posed for it but didn’t know what happened to it. Well, it was never finished and surfaced 65 years later,” she wrote in 2017.
Nevertheless, Dra. Vicki felt grateful for the National Museum for having kept and preserved her mother’s beautiful portrait.
She and her husband Hayden Kho, along with their adorable daughter Scarlet Snow even paid a visit to the museum to check out the other works of art. In fact, they got fascinated by Juan Luna’s portrait of his son Luling, who showed facial resemblance to Scarlet.