The first National Artist for painting, Fernando Amorsolo is the foremost Philippine artist of the early 20th century. An outstanding art student, the businessman Enrique Zobel de Ayala awarded him with a study grant to Spain. This allowed him to visit important museums in Europe and the United States.
In contrast to Luna's heavy and predominantly European themes, Amorsolo was known for sunny landscapes of Luzon and smiling images of dalagang bukid (country girls). His rendition of Philippine sunlight and its nuances was unparalleled during his time. Fernando Amorsolo was named National Artist in 1972.