Napoleón Isabelo Veloso-Abueva (born January 26, 1930), more popularly known as Napoleón Abueva, is a Filipino artist. He is a sculptor given the distinction as the Philippines National Artist for Sculpture. He is also entitled as the "Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture". He is the first and only Boholano given the distinction as National Artist of the Philippines in the field of Visual Arts.
Napoleon Abueva, nicknamed Billy, was born on January 26, 1930 in Tagbilaran, Bohol to Teodoro Abueva, a Bohol congressman and Purificacion (Nena) Veloso, president of the Women’s Auxiliary Service. His father was a friend and contemporary of former Philippine President Manuel Roxas and Ambassador Narciso Ramos. He was a member of the Provincial Board, and later became the Provincial Governor of Bohol. He ended his career as a Congressman in 1934. Both of Abueva's parents died serving their country.
Abueva has six other brothers and sisters: Teodoro (Teddy), Jr., now based in New York, USA; Purificacion (Neny -deceased), married to Atty. Ramon Binamira (dec.) of Tagbilaran City; Jose Abueva (Pepe), former president of the University of the Philippines; Amelia Martinez (Inday), now living in Chicago; Teresita (Ching)Floro, now living in Sydney, Australia; and Antonio (Tony), a landscape artist who met a tragic fate aboard Princess of the Orient; his body has not been found.
Some of his major works include Kaganapan (1953), Kiss of Judas (1955), Thirty Pieces of Silver , The Transfiguration, Eternal Gardens Memorial Park (1979), UP Gateway (1967), Nine Muses (1994), UP Faculty Center, Sunburst (1994)-Peninsula Manila Hotel, the bronze figure of Teodoro M. Kalaw in front of National Library, and murals in marble at the National Heroes Shrine, Mt. Samat, Bataan. One masterpiece he dedicates to the Boholanos is the Sandugo or Blood Compact shrine in Bool, Tagbilaran City, a landmark at the site of the first international treaty of friendship between Spaniards and Filipinos. This is now a tourist attraction in Bohol province. This shrine is an expression of Abueva's awareness of his roots, and a manifestation of his artistic talents.
Abueva also performed the death mask procedure of the late Fernando Poe Jr. in 2004, as well as that of Ninoy Aquino in 1986. Both masks are now displayed at the Center for Kapampangan Studies, Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac. Incidentally, he also made a death mask of Cardinal Sin.