The Info List - Spoliarium

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The SPOLIARIUM (often misspelled Spolarium) is a painting by Filipino artist Juan Luna
Juan Luna
. The painting was submitted by Luna to the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1884 in Madrid
, where it garnered the first gold medal (out of three). In 1886, it was sold to the Diputación Provincial de Barcelona for 20,000 pesetas . It currently hangs in the main gallery at the ground floor of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Manila
, and is the first work of art that greets visitors upon entry into the museum. The picture recreates a despoiling scene in a Roman circus where dead gladiators are stripped of weapons and garments.

Luna, working on canvas , spent eight months completing the painting which depicts dying gladiators. Ambeth Ocampo wrote, "...the fact remains that when Luna and Félix Resurrección Hidalgo won the top awards in the Madrid
Exposition of 1884, they proved to the world that indios could, despite their supposed barbarian race, paint better than the Spaniards who colonized them."


* 1 Jose Rizal
Jose Rizal
and the Spoliarium
* 2 In popular culture * 3 References * 4 External links


At a gathering of Filipino expatriates in Madrid, Jose Rizal enthusiastically toasted the triumphs his two compatriots had achieved, the other being Félix Hidalgo who won a silver medal, calling it "fresh proof of racial equality".

"Luna's Spoliarium
with its bloody carcasses of slave gladiators being dragged away from the arena where they had entertained their Roman oppressors with their lives... stripped to satisfy the lewd contempt of their Roman persecutors with their honor...." Rizal was footnoted in his speech that the Spoliarium, "embodied the essence of our social, moral and political life: humanity in sever