On the top of a hill in Campuhan Village in Ubud, lies an artistic, modern-looking building now known as the Blanco Renaissance Museum. Antonio Blanco, arguably the most successful artist to ever live in Bali was born in the Philippines to Spanish parents.  He first landed in Bali in 1952 and destiny introduced him to the Royal family of Ubud.  His Royal Majesty, the King of Ubud, granted him two hectares of land, located at the confluence of two sacred streams.

On the top of a hill in Campuhan Village in Ubud, lies an artistic, modern-looking building now known as the Blanco Renaissance Museum. Antonio Blanco, arguably the most successful artist to ever live in Bali was born in the Philippines to Spanish parents.  He first landed in Bali in 1952 and destiny introduced him to the Royal family of Ubud.  His Royal Majesty, the King of Ubud, granted him two hectares of land, located at the confluence of two sacred streams.

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Don Antonio was not only in love with Ubud, but he also fell for the beauty of Ni Rondji, a beautiful dancer from Penestanan Village in Ubud. The two lovebirds soon got married and built their beautiful little sanctuary in the land granted by the King. On this land, the Don lived his life until the end, dropped the drips of colours onto canvas until the last drop, and developed his ideas to the fullest.  It is this beloved studio-mansion that has now been transformed into a museum.

It is not too much to say that visiting The Blanco Renaissance museum is visiting the world of Don Antonio. The museum was built a few years before he passed away, thus the design and concept came from Antonio himself. His artistic touch can be seen right at the main gate before an uphill road to the car park. A few stairs lead to the new Rondji Restaurant and to a spacious garden where cockatoos, pelicans, turkeys and other beautiful birds play freely on the branches or on the ground. Across the garden is the house of Mario Blanco, the maestro’s son whose artistic soul is as thick as his father’s and who, like his father, shares a deep passion for nature and birds. A marble gate adorned with a sculptured version of the maestro’s signature, known as the world biggest signature, welcomes visitors to the world of Antonio Blanco. The museum concept is to make the non-living alive, making people laugh and feel happy. Everything is built for a reason, the absence of windows in the building is aimed to nurture the idea that the outside world is different with the maestro’s world and the colourful wall is the reflection of the maestro’s mood; it changes colour as frequently as the clock ticks.

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Antonio Blanco with his artwork

Inside the museum one can savour the visual works of the multi-talented man who had been an actor in Hollywood and a writer before eventually dedicating his life to painting. He was a romantic expressionist who had had a very strong connection and deep appreciation to women. He adored women and worshipped the beauty of their bodies as God’s gifts.

Wondering where all these masterpieces were produced? Step into the Don’s studio, which is still the same as the last time the maestro worked in it. He designed his workshop accordingly to his needs, taking into consideration the source of natural light. So when he sat at his spot with a clean canvas ready, the sunbeams showered his model perfectly, and he would work on a painting until he felt satisfied that it was complete.

The next room is the gallery of Mario Blanco, the only son of Don Antonio Blanco. From the day he was born he has been enveloped in a deeply artistic atmosphere. His father introduced him to the European techniques of art and his mother imbued him with a more pure artistic feeling. His first oil was painted at the age of five. In 1983, he studied academically. Mario Blanco adopts a different style to his father, exploring his very own creation by emerging the life philosophy of non-living things.

From the Honai Resort you could reach by joining our free shutle to the Ubud Center, then continue by walk around 5-10 minutes.

Original article by https://nowbali.co.id/blanco-museum-the-witness-of-the-life-of-a-maestro/

Writer: Kartika D. Suardana