Before the invention of photography, albums of paintings and sketches were the most vivid and portable portrayals of historic events and day-to-day scenes. Bound together, sheets of graphite drawings, pen-and-ink sketches, and watercolor paintings formed albums, which became popular souvenirs from visiting foreigners to families and friends back home.
Departing Spanish government officials were often gifted with these albums, while some commissioned their production to serve as accompanying illustrations to written reports. Some albums and catalogs showcased to cartography, from military uniforms to Manila costumes—all of which attest to the skill and discipline of period artists like Jose Honorato Lozano, Damian Domingo, and Justiniano Asuncion.
Featuring pieces never before seen in the Philippines, Album: Islas Filipinas 1663–1888 is a new the produce and commodities that the Philippines had to offer, similar to what trade catalogs do today.
In a book published by Arts Mundi, Philippinae, Jose Maria Cariño and Sonia Pinto Ner compile some of the many albums produced during the 17th to 19th centuries and weave a compelling pictorial story of the Philippines when it was under the Spanish colonial government.
print ed: 07/08