A SPECIAL exhibit is ongoing at Rustan’s Makati featuring the religious art of the Talleres de Maximo Vicente.
Hailed as a master sculptor of religious imagery, Maximo Vicente, Sr. was also the most successful commercial santero or saint-maker of the Philippines. He set up a shop called Talleres de Maximo Vicente at Calle R. Hidalgo in Quiapo, Manila in 1908, but later moved to M. Adriatico St. in Ermita, Manila.
Maximo Vicente, Sr. was born in Malabon to Antonina Vicente and a Spaniard named Guardamonte. He graduated from the UP School of Fine Arts in 1909. He was married to Crispina Laxamana and together they had 11 children. It was Maximo, Jr. and his wife Soledad Hernandez-Vicente who carried on his father’s legacy at the taller.
The images of the Santo Niño de Praga of San Beda College in Mendiola and San Beda College Alabang; the statues of the main and side altars of our Lady of Mount Carmel on Broadway Ave. in Quezon City; the crucified Christ in Trece Martires in Cavite; the images of the Virgen Milagrosa, San Vicente de Paul, and Sta. Luisa in San Marcelino Church in Ermita, Manila; the image of Nuestra Señora de Candelaria in Iloilo; the statues found at the Assumption Convent in San Lorenzo Village and the Alfonso de Liguori Church in Magallanes in Makati; and so many more are all Talleres de Maximo Vicente handiworks.
The ongoing exhibit at the 5th floor of Rustan’s Makati features creations of the Talleres de Maximo Vicente that rival those of the best artisans of Europe. The works created at the taller, or workshop, are fine, meticulous, and one-of-a-kind. It took anywhere from three to 12 months to complete a commissioned image. It was this superior craftsmanship and his deep faith that made the creations of Maximo Vicente’s hands unparalleled.