Rizal Street, Badoc
Province of Ilocos Norte
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Juan Luna was instrumental in placing Philippine art and culture on the world map. He began his formal art training at the Academy of Fine Arts, studying under Filipino artist Lorenzo Guerrero. In 1887 he left for Madrid, Spain, to continue his studies at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. It was during this period that he painted “Dafne y Chloe,” which won the Silver Palette Award from the Centro Artistico-Literario de Manila.
Other major awards established Luna’s reputation as a master painter both in the Philippines and Europe. These included the gold medal at the National Exposition of Fine Arts Madrid in 1884 for “Spoliarium” and a special gold medal award at the Barcelona Exposition in 1888 for “La Batalla de Lepanto,” a work commissioned by the Spanish Senate.
In 1896 Juan Luna and his brother, General Antonio Luna, were arrested by the Spanish authorities for subversion. During his eight months in prison he painted many canvasses, among them, “Ecce Homo,” a sensitive portrayal of Christ.
The Juan Luna Shrine is a reconstruction of the house in which the painter was born on October 24, 1857. (The original house burned down in 1861.) It is a typical two-story middle-class country home.
The main entrance opens into the alcove just before the family gallery. Photographs on the walls show the damaged original house and how teams of construction workers rebuilt it.
The family gallery holds vintage photographs of the Luna clan, including Juan Luna’s son, Andres. The museum also uses the family gallery to display household artifacts from Luna’s time.
Beyond the staircase are display cases exhibiting Luna’s palettes. Also shown are articles belonging to his brother, Antonio, including his sword, uniform and a letter he wrote to Leon Apacible.
The third section of the lower floor holds reproductions of Luna’s two large works—”Spoliarium” and “El Pacto de Sangre.” There are also portraits of his wife, Paz Pardo de Tavera, and national hero Jose Rizal.
The staircase leads up to the living room, bedrooms, azotea and chapel. The living room is furnished in period furniture and accessories. The master bedroom contains the four-poster bed used by Luna.
Outside, facing the azotea, is the bedroom which Luna shared with his brothers. Across the azotea is the family chapel.
Juan Luna died in Hong Kong on December 7, 1899. His remains were interred in 1953 in niche no. 73 at the Sala de Profundis in San Agustin Church, Intramuros, Manila. A monument of the painter stands outside the shrine. – nhcp.gov.ph