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    Posted September 16, 2010 by
    Manila, Philippines

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    Lecture on The Life and Works of Juan Luna Held at the Hall of the Masters


    Lecture on The Life and Works of Juan Luna
    Held at the Hall of the Masters,
    National Arts Gallery of the National Museum of the Philippines




    By Valiente B. Trinidad

    and Maricarl C. Banzon

    CNN iReport

    Manila, Philippines


    MANILA -- A lecture entitled The Life and Works of Juan Luna y Novicio was conducted last August 26, 2010 at the Hall of the Masters, National Arts Gallery of the National Museum. The event was the first of a series of three collateral lectures for PAMANA: Heritage of a Nation exhibit.


    Art scholar and university professor Santiago Albano Pilar shared his life’s work of research that provided him with a wealth of knowledge and intriguing anecdotes about Luna, in a two-hour lecture participated by more than 150 students, teachers, and cultural workers. He described in detail the Spoliarium, Luna’s most celebrated work, and discussed extensively events behind its completion and success.


    A slide show of Luna’s works also emphasized the fact that the Spoliarium was by no means the only important painting completed by the artist. Literally hundreds of finished paintings, numerous studies for larger canvasses, and countless more sketches exist as testament to the volume of work of the artist and the genius of the man. Most of Luna’s works still lie on foreign soil, such as The Death of Cleopatra, Roman Ladies, and The Battle of Lepanto, the latter being a personal commission by the then King of Spain, Alfonso XII. Still, Prof. Pilar envisions these masterpieces returning home one day, as with the case of Luna’s once lost collection in New York now housed at the National Arts Gallery; the much talked about Parisian Life; and of course the Spoliarium.


    Towards the end of the lecture, Pilar disclosed a little known version of that fateful day when in a fit of rage Luna shot and killed his wife and his mother-in-law. It was the eyewitness account of Andres himself, Luna’s only son, who was then a young boy and present at the time of the incident. The professor revealed similarly interesting bits of information about Luna and many others of his myth-surrounded paintings.


    The lecture on the Life and Works of Juan Luna is a collateral activity of the exhibit PAMANA: Heritage of a Nation - Juan Luna y Novicio. Santiago Albano Pilar is a prolific art books author and a professor at the University of the Philippines. He has won numerous awards including the Ten Outstanding Young Men of 1980 for Art History. The lecture was spearheaded by the Museum Education Division in coordination with the Arts Division, both of the National Museum.#

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