top of page

(after Tensión Luminosa by Fernando Zóbel)


Wilderness of grey contained

in the canvas of November,

lured by the gypsy moon of Cuénca.

In the moving strokes, Lorca’s eye

discerns the lyric of a void dance:

two presences so still, they assume

no form but pure image,

incurable wound of music.


Only with the ear of a true cantaor

may we hear the howling firewinds

beyond this ash-filled frame.

Could a terrible love have been

marked by this one luminous

drop of blood?




In the early '90s, I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Manila one afternoon to see the retrospective art exhibit of Fernando Zóbel. One of the paintings, “Tensión Luminosa,” brought me deep into Federico Garcia Lorca’s Andalusia inhabited by a red moon, the ash of death in the air, and the cantaor rasping the last note of a terrible love. The painting is part of the permanent exhibit of the Ayala Museum, while the poem is published in my second collection of poems, Ochre Tones.


- Dr. Marjorie Evasco

Tensión Luminosa

by Marjorie Evasco

Tensión Luminosa

by Fernando Zóbel


Acrylic on Canvas


31.3 inches x 31.3 inches


From the Ayala Museum Collection


Fernando Zóbel (August 27, 1924 – June 2, 1984) was a leading figure in Philippine modernist painting.  His abstract canvases testify to his mastery and fascination with lines and their manipulation to show movement and energy.   He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Merit for his contribution to the arts by the Philippine government in 2006.


This painting is part of the collection of the Ayala Museum and is featured here with permission from the estate of Fernando Zóbel.  For more details on the museum, please visit  To learn more about Fernando Zóbel, please follow the following link:

bottom of page