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The Spoliarium by Juan Luna

[The Spoliarium: Photograph by Diamonds]

Among Filipinos, Juan Luna's "The Spoliarium"  must be the most well-known painting by a Filipino artist because of its historical significance.

Juan Luna had already gained a certain degree of reputation as an artist in the Philippines before his trip to Europe in 1877 to further his studies. While in Madrid, one of his mentors recognized his talent, and invited Luna to work with him in Rome.  The reputation of Luna as an artist in Europe begun to be established during his exhibition  at the first in 1878 at the  first art exposition in Madrid, the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Demonstration of Beautiful Arts).   His entry, " La Muerte de Cleopatra (The Death of Cleopatra)" in won the silver medal in the 1881 exposition.

In May 1884, he submitted the painting that would become known as "The Spoliarium" to the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes, and won the gold medal. Another entry by a Filipino artist Félix Resurrección Hidalgo.  won the silver medal in the same exposition.

During the celebration in June 1884  to honor the double win of the Filipino artists, "Rizal interpreted the Spoliarium as a symbol of 'our social, moral, and political life: humanity unredeemed, reason and aspiration in open fight with prejudice, fanaticism, and injustice.""

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 September 2010 21:56 )

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