BALVINO MAURICIO, José Honorato Lozano, 1864

Letras y figuras (Spanish, "letters and figures") is a genre of painting pioneered by José Honorato Lozano during the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines. The art form is distinguished by the depiction of letters of the alphabet using a genre of painting that contoured shapes of human figures, animals, plants, and other objects called Tipos del País popularized by Damián Domingo. The letters depicted spell out a phrase or a name, usually that of the patron who commissioned the work.[1] The paintings were done with watercolor on Manila paper. The earliest example of this art form dates from 1845; the latest existing specimens were completed during the latter portion of the American period in the 1930s during the administration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.[2]

In 1995, an album of José Honorato Lozano's paintings were auctioned at Christie’s at the starting bid of £300,000.[2]


See also


  1. ^ Blanco, John D. (2009). Frontier Constitutions: Christianity and Colonial Empire in the Nineteenth-Century Philippines. University of California. ISBN 978-0-520-25519-7.
  2. ^ a b "Letras Y Figuras Uniquely Filipino Art Genre". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  3. ^ Ocampo, Ambeth R. (2 April 2014). "A peek into Kapitan Tiago's house". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  4. ^ Kyo, Satoshi. "SATOSHI on Letras Y Figuras, an ingenious Filipino art form". Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  5. ^ Kyo, Satoshi. "SATOSHI on Letras Y Figuras and Alvaro Jimenez". Retrieved 2 April 2015.