Sansó’s Brittany: An Inward Reflection Of A Collective Experience

Juvenal Sansó’s Brittany was inspired by friendships that left an indelible mark on the artist’s life, and is a testament to the value of human connection.

This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s March 2023 Issue.

The story behind Juvenal Sansó’s Brittany encapsulates the artist’s life-changing experience brought about by genuine friendship, kindness, and gratitude.

Works from Juvenal Sanso's 1960s sketchbook, showing studies of light and wind and how the waves impact the rocks.
Works from Sansó’s 1960s sketchbook, showing studies of light and wind and how the waves impact the rocks.

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Brittany, a coast found in the Northwestern part of France, is known for its magical pink granite stones and expansive views of the peninsula. It is also the namesake of one of the most sought-after series by Juvenal Sansó, who is regarded as one of the Philippines’ most distinguished living painters. Sansó’s visits to Brittany were born out of his lifelong friendships, specifically with the le Dantecs. Yves le Dantec was the editor of the only newspaper in France at the time and was married to Agnes, daughter of Georges Rouault, a French artist-painter. The friendship grew as Sansó’s connection to the place became deeper and resulted in a series that represents his era of healing from post-war trauma.

A Torquoise Moment by Juvenal Sanso
A Torquoise Moment, 9.25 x 12.25, Acrylic on paper, c. 1970s

The entrance of the gallery along with the first few pieces show warmer tones—his works from the late 90’s to the 2000’s that are predominantly orange canvas, which carry over the yellowish rocks and light blue sea, but foregrounded by a grand, orange sky. Symbolic to a fruition of the healing process, the visuals evoke a sense of hope and warmth, a space where life would be thriving. As somewhat a retrospection of how the series came about, the
inner exhibit shows a range of his works from different timeframes.

As Ricky Francisco, curator and director of Fundacion Sansó narrates, we would see plein air sketches in the innermost section, represented by 12 artworks.

Of Solemn Splendor by Juvenal Sanso
Of Solemn Splendor, 30 x 40, Acrylic on canvas, c. 2000s

Sansó recalls his days at Brittany wherein his friends would be of kind service and in support of his activities from driving him to and from his chosen spots to checking the weather and making sure his pieces would not be ruined by the sudden downpour. He reveres not only the beauty of nature that has taken him but also the sincerity that made him feel like family.

Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia March 2023 magazine via or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.

Photos courtesy of Galerie Joaquin

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