National Museum celebrates Juan Luna’s 160th birth anniversary with free tours

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Juan Luna's 'Spoliarium' is the third largest work of the painter and the largest in the Philippines. The iconic painting is on permanent display at the Old House of Representatives Session Hall, National Museum of the Philippines. Photo source: www.nationalmuseum.gov.ph.

Museum goers who wish to know more about the works of Juan Luna will delight in the special free tours organized this week by the National Museum of the Philippines.

Juan Novicio Luna, born on October 23, 1857, was a Filipino painter, sculptor, and activist during the Philippine revolution in the late 19th century. He was among the first Filipino painters to receive international recognition. He asserted his sense of nationalism on the European front by participating in international contests and exhibitions. While in Europe, Luna was part of a group of distinguished Filipino intellectualists and nationalists that included Dr. Jose Rizal, Marcelo Del Pilar, and Graciano Lopez-Jaena, among others. Luna passed away on December 7, 1899.

‘Tracing Luna’ is a series of special free tours honoring the 160th birth anniversary of Filipino painter and patriot Juan Luna. Image sourced from the Facebook page of the National Museum of the Philippines.

“Tracing Luna,” the title of the series of special free tours, kicked off on Tuesday (October 24) through Friday (October 27), is scheduled at 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the National Museum of Fine Arts. Specific topics of the tour are: Juan Luna in Rome, October 24; Juan Luna in Paris October 25; Juan Luna in the Philippines, October 26; and Juan Luna and his contemporaries, October 27.

According to an announcement by the museum on its Facebook account, among the iconic works of Luna that are part of the National Fine Art Collection include Spoliarium, the artist’s third largest work and the largest in the Philippines; Una Bulaqueña, Portrait of a Lady, Mi Madre, and a number of studies for important works such a The Battle of Lepanto and People and Kings.

Luna’s Parisian Life, which stirred some controversy due to its purchase by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for Php45.4 million in 2002, and Bandera Filipina from the National Library of the Philippines are both on loan and on display at the National Museum.

Since slots for the tour are limited, pre-registration is required. To book your tour, contact Ms. Danelyn at the Fine Arts Division: (+632) 527-1219 or e-mail nm.finearts@gmail.com.