You’ve probably been wondering about the sporadic posting for the past couple of weeks… Well, on top of other things going crazy as the holidays draw nearer, I’ve been busy working on a piece for a special group exhibit with the most awesome illustrators ever!
Yesterday This week, I went on a media tour to Angono, Rizal, touted to be the “Art Capital of the Philippines.”
Angono has produced two National Artists, namely Carlos “Botong” Francisco (for visual art) and Lucio San Pedro (for music), and several well-known artists such as Nemiranda, the Blanco family of painters, and Perdigon. In recent years, younger generations of artists have emerged in Angono and art galleries and studios are a familiar sight in this municipality.
The subject of our tour was Angono’s most famous son, Botong Francisco, best known for his sprawling murals (some up to 200 feet!) that are a familiar sight to Filipinos as a lot of them are displayed in prominent institutions. His masterpieces, which depict historical scenes and Filipino communities, include the Malacañang mural “Fiesta”, “Blood Compact” (Yuchengco Museum / RCBC Building), “First Mass at Limasawa” (National Museum), “The Martyrdom of Rizal” (Fort Santiago), and “Stations of the Cross” (Far Eastern University).
The Virgin Blue reminded me of Labyrinth because of the split narratives between Isabelle Du Moulin and Ella Turner, and their familial ties. Isabelle Du Moulin is from the Protestant Reformation in 16th century France while Ella Turner is from the present day. As the story unfolds, the connection between the two women unfolds as well.
The book is Chevalier’s first novel, maybe that’s why it’s not as polished as the other two I’ve read…. It’s not as introspective as Girl with A Pearl Earring, or as fluidly narrative as The Lady and the Unicorn.
Nevertheless, the book gives an interesting glimpse into the lives of the two women, the historical ties that bind them, and a haunting family secret that makes its presence felt centuries later. Made for good airplane reading :)