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Spolarium Juan Luna Basic Information 1884 400 cm 700 cm (160 in 280 in) Oil on poplar National Museum

um of the Philippines

Interpretation/Analysis The Spoliarium (often misspelled Spolarium) is a painting by Filipino artist Juan Luna. The painting was submitted by Luna to the Exposicin Nacional de Bellas Artes(National Exhibition of Fine Arts) in 1884, where it garnered a gold medal. In 1886, it was sold to the Diputacin Provincial de Barcelona(Barcelona Provincial Council) for 20,000 pesetas. It currently hangs in the main gallery at the ground floor of the National Museum of the Philippines, and is the first work of art that greets visitors upon entry into the museum. Display Location. In 1887, the Diputacin Provincial de Barcelona bought the Spoliarium for 20,000 pesetas quite an enormous amount at the time. In 1951, the Spanish goverment gave the Spoliarium as a gift to the Filipino people. The Spoliarium resided for years in the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila. It is now displayed in the main gallery (ground floor) of the National Museum of the Philippines, the first work of art that would be most prominent to visitors of the gallery in the National Museum. The first thing we noticed is the size of the painting, for us it draws the attention of the viewers to think the deeper meaning of it for it was made not just an ordinary painting. The bodies dragged in the ground after the battle into the coliseum morgue (spoliarium) thats why the painting is called in it. The painting truly intrigues us for it gives focus of how the body is dragged and the people around it by the use of rich colors with red as central color. The Spolarium represents an event during the Roman Empire, where gladiators die for amusement. The painting shows how gladiators are being dragged ruthlessly by men towards an unknown darkness, where other tragically killed gladiators are brought. To the left is a cheering crowd, screaming for their enjoyment, while to the right, a woman is crouched and apparently in sorrow. As said in statement above it wants the viewers to think critically and perhaps understand the situation of any related happenings during that era. According to art experts, the fallen gladiators who are being dragged are the Filipino people, while the men dragging them into the darkness are representative of the Spanish rule. Next to the Spaniards pulling the gladiators are two old men who appeared as if they can no longer wait to get some blood from the prizefighters supported by their belief of its outstanding power. In our context, this portion represents the colonizers patience of waiting for their strong subjects death before an action of selfish purpose is initiated. The woman crouched on the right side of the painting is believed to be the Mother Country or the Inang Bayan who weeps for her Philippines. The blood thirsty crowd to the left is a representation of the social cancer of that time. The spectators represent the Spaniards who did nothing but to cheer for their bets, for their selfish and acquisitive desires to see and watch Filipinos suffer and die. Gladiators are the main or principal images in Spolarium as those also used to be the main means of entertainment during that time. The emotions incorporated can be felt intensively as heavy and

full of fear. In relation to the said topic above, the Filipinos experience fear and oppressed as they would call the people as Indio. If we are going to see its elements, Diagonal lines which are dominant appears to be pointing out the direction of the bodies towards the carnage. Somewhat, the color of Spolarium is relatively dark giving it an emotion impression and appearance of heaviness. The happenings have something to do with the artists development. As time changes, it shapes the ideas and thoughts of an artist. Lunas Spolarium started and completed in the context of the reform movements lead by Filipino expatriates serve as a direct representation of the condition of the Philippines under the Spanish colonizing power. We also have a theory that it does not limit to what the Philippines was in the colonization period but it may seem to convey to the audience in every race and nationality to express the freedom of every person to his rights as not being controlled. Insights The first time seeing this painting it gives me the question of is it really a Filipino who painted this? Without using other approach, we may seem to understand the painting as an event of the roman period in their entertainment. But by getting the real context of this, we can conclude that it is within our walls of our society. It may not only emphasize about the tyranny of the Spanish officials but the todays generation of politics and the people suffering. We believe that Juan Luna didnt paint this in such to present the current stand of the Philippines but as in every generation that time has passed in enduring the pain as a Gladiator as the people perhaps. This art visualize its specific social commentaries using the elements of arts and design effectively. It is trying to convey and produce interest and involvement of the people to act upon an issue. In Spanish time, it is not easy to do what it is right due to a very difficult situation in the country but in todays time when no one is controlling us, the moral and ideal society must be imposed. Rizal also interpreted the Spolarium as a symbol of 'our social, moral, and political life: humanity unredeemed, reason and aspiration in open fight with prejudice, fanaticism, and injustice. As for any artwork, they deserve moments of discussions, debates and expositions so as to develop within us Filipinos critical thinking and the values and principles that had shaped and will shape our country. References Salonga, Isabelle(2010). The Spoliarium. http://arthistory.knoji.com/the-spoliarium-1/ Ivan6itaas(2011).TheSpolarium.http://ivan6itaas.wordpress.com/2011/11/05/the spolarium/