The UST Museum’s Visual Art Collection includes this portrait of Blessed Fr. Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. by Ricarte Puruganan. The painting is significant for both its subject and the artist who created it.
Ricarte Puruganan received his diploma in Fine Arts from the UP School of Fine Arts in 1936, and then entered the University of Santo Tomas on a scholarship in 1940 and received his bachelor’s degree in just one year. He went on to join the faculty of the UST College of Architecture and Fine Arts and became known as one of the “Thirteen Moderns”, the leading edge of the Modernist movement headed by Victorio Edades.
Blessed Fr. Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. was born in 1866 in Castañedo de Valdés, Spain. He joined the Dominican Order and professed his vows in 1884. He went on to study civil law and philosophy. Following his ordination to the priesthood, he served as a professor at the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. In 1910, he was elected to serve as the provincial of the Dominicans in the Philippines. In 1926, he was elected Master General of the Order of Preachers.
In 1936, he was in Madrid as the anti-Catholic violence of the Spanish Civil War erupted, and was executed by a firing squad on August 12, one of the thousands of priests and religious martyred during the uprising. He was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007.
The UST Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building serves as the hub for alumni activities for Thomasians locally and abroad, and is popularly known as BGPOP.