Felix Resurrección Hidalgo’s milieus were both the Spanish and the American colonial periods. Today we commemorate his 159th birth anniversary.
COMPLICATED IDEAS: Madre Filipinas’ broken sword and olive branch of peace versus Columbia’s sharp long broadsword, as drawn by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo for Per Pacem Et Libertatem.
Columbia, the once and future symbol of the United States of America, in martial regalia, still stands at the top of the US Capitol in Washington DC. In Hidalgo’s bocetos, she personifies the ‘benevolent imperial power’ of her country burgeoning in the latter part of the 19th century.
Was there ever a more tragic and poetic symbol for the Philippines in visual art before World War II?
With this to end, but to ponder more, a quote by Jose Rizal: “Our liberty will not be secured at the sword’s point… We must secure it by making ourselves worthy of it. And when the people reaches that height, God will provide a weapon, the idols will be shattered, tyranny will crumble like a house of cards, and liberty will shine out like the first dawn.”