Instituto Cervantes hosts online tribute to Betsy Westendorp

Published July 14, 2020, 5:30 PM

by Hanah Tabios

The Instituto Cervantes de Manila, in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Intramuros Administration, will host an online tribute featuring the works of contemporary Spanish painter Betsy Westendorp on Thursday, July 16.

(Intramuros Administration / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Instituto Cervantes de Manila is organizing an exhibit in recognition of her artistic career and in gratitude to the artist for her generous gift to the institute – her painting Passages. In this exhibit, the aforementioned work of art will be presented to the public, and Filipino and Spanish artists will pay homage to Ms. Westendorp with some of their most representative works of art,” the Intramuros Administration said in a Facebook post.

Born in the outskirts of Madrid, Spain, Westendorp, married Antonio “Tony” Brias, a Filipino of Spanish descent who worked as an executive of the San Miguel Corporation. Their union became a way to make most of her life in the Philippines.

The works of Westendorp have already been carved in the industries of Philippine arts, architecture, and design. In fact, in an article published by the Philippine Tatler, Westendorp may have aged through the years but she “remains a dynamic force in the industry as her paintings are still in high demand.”

Her life and arts are summarized in her two-volume coffee table books titled and published by the De La Salle University Publishing House.

Among the collectors of her portraits are those who belong to the Philippine “high society.” For her outstanding contribution in the field of arts and culture, she has been bestowed awards by His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain in 1976 and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2008.

Many Philippine presidents have also expressed their appreciation to the Spanish-born artist as a collection of her paintings were evident in the walls of Malacañan Palace in Manila.