El Cuadro: of Paints and Images


A first impression of the Sibonga Church ceiling would be that it’s curved but it isn’t. What was once a flat, ordinary ceiling was given flourish in 1924 by the famous self-taught artist Raymundo Francia who painted it using the popular Baroque period method called quadratura. He added a three-dimensional perspective to the ceiling by painting fictitious architectural details like ceiling ribs meeting curved walls on an otherwise flat surface The Holy Sacraments, Crucifixion, and Seven Days of Creation are among the themes of Francia’s overhead art piece in the Sibonga Church. He also probably painted the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, in four panels encased in Gothic frames.