Mater Dolorosa by Simon Dela Rosa Flores

Last Updated: 19 Apr 2023
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The artwork entitled Mater Dolorosa that is painted using oil by Simon Dela Rosa Flores on a canvas (104 x 73. 5 cm). Simon Flores is known for his religious paintings that were commissioned by wealthy families and parish churches. The date of the painting when it was created was not known.


When I first saw the painting, I thought of a mother thinking about her son/daughter.

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The children behind the mother and staring at her were her guardian angels that help, comfort and guide her to pray for her son/daughter. I think that the son/daughter has been a problem to his/her mother and has been gone for a long time. As a result, she has been waiting for him/her to come back to her care and she has been grieving, longing for them to be with her. The guardian angels are staying by the side of mother to be calm and tell her trust God to do the rest for her. The painting gives a feeling to me that are serene and sad, but full of hope and trust in God that He will help her to bring back her child.

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In a way, I can also remember my own mother in the painting that always takes care of me and is always worried whenever I am not by her side. I chose this artwork because of all, I value most my family and God. This painting gives it all to me and reflects true emotions that a mother must feel whenever she is sad, longing for her child to come back to her. Many stories can be associated with this painting. Another story that I can also relate to the painting is the mother’s child has been dead and still the mother cannot accept the fact that her child was already gone.

Research Part (Artwork Interpretation by Artist)

The interpretation of Simon Dela Rosa Flores of his artwork entitled Mater Dolorosa was really what the painting wants to tell the viewers. He said that it was his own version of grieving mother with long wavy hair against a dark blue and white tunic that symbolizes the emotions that the mother feels like sad and anxious. The hands of the mother were clasped close to her heart to reflect grief. Her facial expressions were very passive and troubled.

The children that are behind the mother were cherubs that are guiding the mother in times of he sorrow.

Elements of Art Used

The elements of art that were used by Simon dela Rosa Flores were color and value. The colors that were used, symbolized the emotions and feelings that was felt by the mother in the painting like the dark blue for sorrow and the white tunic for hope and also for faith in God. The cherub’s color depicts guidance and also light from them. Value is also used in a way that the painting has its cultural value especially for Filipinos.

It is also because of the deep meaning behind the painting of the grieving mother.

Socio-Historical Context On Art And Society

Simon dela Rosa Flores is known in his time in devoting his art to religious views, wealthy and famous people. He likes making portraits of people and most of his paintings includes use of oil in a canvas. One of his religious paintings is the Mater Dolorosa which is close to his mother and child and San Roque but instead of the child there where cherubs. Mater Dolorosa means grieving mother in Spanish.

Many versions of this painting were done specially on the Spanish times. Hs painting started in the 19th century where the illustrados saw the rise of art of painting. The illustrados contracted painters to make portrait of themselves to document and for others to see their new found wealth and social status. One of the painters who are appointed is no other than Simon Flores. He painted jewelry, fashion accessories, minuet details of embroidered clothes and religious patrons. From there, he started painting religious figures and even rich families became his focus.

Cite this Page

Mater Dolorosa by Simon Dela Rosa Flores. (2017, May 24). Retrieved from

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