Monday, December 05, 2011

An Afternoon With "The Spoliarium"

I have seen "The Spoliarium" three times prior to this whole Sunday devoted to the National Arts Gallery. It's actually the main reason why I visit the National Museum.  I could practically stare at this  Juan Luna's masterpiece the whole afternoon, and I won't get tired looking at it.

At nine years old, the first time I saw it, I had this sense of pride that a Filipino artist has drawn this, and that it won the gold medal at the Exposicion Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1884.

The scene depicting dead gladiators being dragged to one side of the arena, reflected the abuses the Filipinos  suffered under the Spanish Colonizers.

It took another twelve years before I saw it again, and I came back a year after and just after a few months and I was back at the National Art Gallery again to visit it.  I still feel excited every time I open the door that leads to the Hall of the Masters where this painting is exhibited. It feels like finally, my eyes will get to see this national treasure again.

I know a lot of people don't get giddy with a piece of art but this painting elicits a good feeling on my part.

Because I'm not an artist, I can't imagine how Juan Luna was able to paint this huge piece of art? how he was able to balance the scale of each character drawn? and how he was able to put all those dramatic colors together. I wonder how many days did it take Juan Luna to finish this? Did he throw a lot of canvass before he was able to come out with this perfect one?

My words will always be inadequate to describe how beautiful it is, but let the pictures I took speak for how magnificent it is.  But again, my pictures will not be able to capture its beauty.  You have to see it for yourself and behold "The Spoliarium."

There's no entrance fee at The National Museum every Sunday. 

(When I visited the National Museum last 2010 picture taking was still not allowed, but when I came back last May 2011 and October 2011, digital cameras are allowed for souvenir shots at the museum.)

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