The Asuncion family: Exhibition celebrates legacy of remarkable artistic clan

A portrait of Filomena Asuncion by Justiniano Asuncion

An art exhibition in Makati celebrates the legacy of a remarkable artistic clan of the 19th Century. Works by the Asuncion brothers — Justiniano, Leoncio, and Mariano — will be on display at the Ayala Museum until next January.

The brothers were just three of 12 siblings, all of whom were talented artists. Indeed, to this day their descendants continue to be prominent artists and designers.

Entitled Art and Family: The Asuncion Legacy, the exhibition will be on display on the museum’s third floor galleries. It will include paintings, sculptures, miniatures, medallions, portraits and watercolour illustrations.

The works are rare survivors of decades of fires, floods, and wars. They were gathered from private and public collections around the world.

It was the marriage of Mariano Asumpcion and Maria dela Paz Molo de San Agustin in the late 18th Century that founded the artistic clan.

All of their 12 children showed talent for the arts. This is a legacy that continues with their descendants, who organised the exhibition.

The talented Asuncion family

The featured artists of the Asuncion clan are:

Mariano Asuncion (1802-1888). The eldest of the brothers who enjoyed the patronage of the church. His subjects were mostly about the miracles of saints, the Passion of Christ and the Virgin Mary. His works are often compared to Italian painters of the 13th-15th Centuries.

Leoncio Asuncion (1813-1888). Considered as the Father of Modern Religious Sculpture in the Philippines. He is remembered for his santos made of ivory and wood.

Justiniano Asuncion (1816-1896). Also known as ‘Kapitan Ting’ after serving as a cabeza de barangay is known for his portraits. As well as learning from his family, he also received training from portraitist Damian Domingo, who established an art school in Tondo in 1821.

Talks and other activities related to the artists will be scheduled throughout the exhibition’s run.

For more details, visit the museum website at or check on the family’s Facebook page.