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Artistic paintings were introduced to the Filipinos in the 16th century when the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines.

During this time, the Spaniards used paintings as religious propaganda to spread Catholicism throughout the Philippines.

These paintings, appearing mostly on church walls, featured religious figures appearing in Catholic teaching.

Betis Church, Pampanga

Due to the Church's supervision of Filipino art and Spanish occupation of the Philippines, the purpose of most paintings from the 16th-19th century were to aid the Catholic Church.

Paete Murals

In the early 19th century, wealthier, educated Filipinos introduced more secular Filipino art, causing art in the Philippines to deviate from religious motifs.

Spolarium by Juan Luna

The use of watercolor paintings increased and the subject matter of paintings began to include landscapes, Filipino inhabitants, Philippine fashion, and government officials. Portrait paintings featured the painters themselves, Filipino jewelry, and native furniture.

The subject of landscape paintings featured artists' names painted ornately as well as day-to-day scenes of average Filipinos partaking in their daily tasks. These paintings were done on canvas, wood, and a variety of metals.

During World War II, some painters focused their artwork on the effects of war, including battle scenes, destruction, and the suffering of the Filipino peoples.

Napoleon Abueva (Sculpture) Fernando C. Amorsolo (Painting) Benedicto Cabrera (Painting) Victorio C. Edades (Painting) Carlos V. Francisco (Painting) Abdulmari Asia Imao (Sculpture) Jose T. Joya (Painting) Ang Kiukok (Painting) Cesar Legaspi (Painting) Arturo R. Luz (Painting) Vicente S. Manansala (Painting) J. Elizalde Navarro (Painting) Hernando R. Ocampo (Painting) Guillermo Tolentino (Sculpture)

Napoleon Abueva (born January 26, 1930) He is the "Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture". He is the only Boholano given the distinction as National Artist of the Philippines in the field of Visual Arts. He took up a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines where he graduated in 1953.

Some of his major works include Kaganapan (1953), Kiss of Judas (1955), Thirty Pieces of Silver, The Transfiguration, Eternal Gardens Memorial Park (1979), UP Gateway (1967),

Kaganapan

Nine Muses (1994), UP Faculty Center, Sunburst (1994)-Peninsula Manila Hotel, the bronze figure of Teodoro M. Kalaw in front of National Library, and murals in marble at the National Heroes Shrine, Mt. Samat, Bataan.

Ang Kiukok (Visual Arts, 2001) He was born in Davao City, to Chinese-Filipino parents. He pursued Art Studies at the University of Santo Tomas, where he was taught by Filipino art masters, most notably Vicente Manansala who was to become a lifelong friend and mentor.

He first attained prominence in the Philippine arts scene in the 1960s with a distinct style that fused influences from cubism, surrealism and expressionism.

The Last Supper

Some classified his style as "figurative expressionism", others merely called it ugly. What could not be doubted was the violence in his imagery, a factor that slighted the commercial viability of his works until the 1980s.

Rabid dogs

He favored such subjects as fighting cocks, rabid dogs, and people enraptured by rage or bound in chains. He painted multiple depictions of the crucified Christ that did not shirk from portraying the agonies normally associated with the crucifixion.

When asked why he was so angry, he replied, "Why not? Open your eyes. Look around you. So much anger, sorrow, ugliness. And also madness." The intensity of his works stood in contrast to his own personality, described as "placid and affable". In the end, Ang Kiukok emerged not only as a critical favorite, but a commercially popular artist as well. Upon his death from cancer on May 9, 2005, it was reported that he and fellow National Artist Fernando Amorsolo were the most widely bidded after Filipino painters in auctions

Grave of Ang Kiukok at the Libingan ng mga Bayani

Fernando C. Amorsolo (Painting) Fernando Amorsolo y Cueto (May 30, 1892 April 24, 1972) is one of the most important artists in the history of painting in the Philippines. Amorsolo was a portraitist and painter of rural Philippine landscapes.

Amorsolo is best known for his illuminated landscapes,which often portrayed traditional Filipino customs, culture, fiestas and occupations. His pastoral works presented "an imagined sense of nationhood in counterpoint to American colonial rule" and were important to the formation of Filipino national identity.

Fruit Gatherer, 1950 by Fernando Amorsolo oil on board. A vital specimen of his work on the human face and landscape.

Amorsolo was sought after by influential Filipinos including Luis Araneta, Antonio Araneta and Jorge B. Vargas. Amorsolo also became the favourite Philippine artist of United States officials and visitors to the country.

Fruit Pickers Harvesting Under The Mango Tree

The volume of paintings, sketches and studies of Amorsolo is believed to have reached more than 10,000 pieces. In May 2010, the highest priced Amorsolo painting (one of the lavanderas) was auctioned off at Christie's for about US$ 440,000.

Antipolo by Fernando Amorsolo

Benedicto Reyes Cabrera (born August 27, 1942), better known as "BenCab", was awarded National Artist of the Philippines for Visual Arts (Painting) in 2006. He graduated in 1963 from UP-College of Fine Arts.