Inspired by a consuming love and passion for art, Julius Limpe’s creativity and entrepreneurial wisdom colored and reverberated in both his artistic and business pursuits that ultimately made him an influential force in both fields of endeavor.
Born in San Nicolas, Binondo, the Chinatown district of the Old Manila, on February 1, 1927, Limpe’s early experiences and hobbies enriched his visual vocabulary and shaped his inventive mind. From his parents to grandparents, he learned pragmatic and philosophical lessons in life and business that broadened his views and made him a unique individual who possessed worldly knowledge and spiritual, humanist depth.
He graduated from Indiana University with a major in Business Administration and a minor in Fine Arts, which made him the only business student who crossed over to the Art department of the university. Art took a back seat as he pursued a career in the family business, but his love of painting never waned. He ran Destileria Limtuaco, the oldest distillery in the Philippines, with great success. After handing over the company reins to the next generation, he enthusiastically took up the brush and palette again.
Limpe’s art reflected his great optimism, imagination and energy. His painting style was as individualistic as he was. Never one to march to someone else’s beat, his work reflected his state of mind: free, raw, playful, uninhibited, and daring. He navigated the canvas on instinct. With powerful strokes and bold colors, he followed no definite rules or formulae in painting.
His favorite art themes were landscapes, waterscapes, religious figures, female nudes, flora, and fauna. With adept swirling strokes and generous use of vibrant colors, he brought great vitality and life to his depictions of nature. He particularly relished infusing character and emotion in his oft-explored subject–the fish.
Limpe was a member of Manila’s art elite Saturday Group for four decades, and enjoyed the camaraderieof Philippine art Masters such as Hernando Ocampo, Cesar Legaspi, Dean Jose Joya, Malang and Ang Kiukok.Since his first one man show held in 1990, Limpe enjoyed a successful career with numerous solo and group exhibitions locally as well as internationally.
To celebrate his art, life and influence, Limpe’s close friend, artist Manuel Baldemor, curated “Homage to Julius Limpe:A Retsopective Painting Exhibition.” On what would have been Limpe’s 91st birthday, the opening of his retrospective on February 1 was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony participated by Chinese General Hospital’s Residents Fellows Association Adviser Dr. Carlos Lu, Boston Gallery’s owner Dr. Joven Cuanang and retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Vitug.