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Juan Luna’s autobiography
Juan Luna was a renowned Filipino painter, diplomat and a political activist during the later part of the 19th century. Luna was one of the few Filipino students in Europe who formed the Propaganda Movement, a cultural and political organization which seeks social equality among native Filipino indios and Spanish meztizos. Luna was born on October 23, 1857 in Badoc, Ilocos Norte, the third of seven children of Don Joaquin Luna and Doña Laureana Novicio y Ancheta. His elder brother Antonio, also played a pivotal role in the Philippine revolution, served as a Chief of War Operations during the Filipino-American war. Luna's family was one of the prominent and richest families in their town. Thus, Luna was able to pursue higher levels of education. Hence, the Luna family moved to Manila in 1861. There, Luna attended Ateneo Municipal de Manila, one of the most prestigious universities in the Philippines and where he finished his Bachelor of Arts degree. Shortly, Luna and his brother Manuel, who according to national hero, Jose Rizal, was a better painter than Juan himself, traveled to Europe to study higher degrees of arts and sciences. Luna attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid, Spain, an art school who produced notable painters such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. However, Luna felt that the Royal Academy's style of teaching do not suit him well. Thus, Luna moved to Rome where he studied arts under the tutelage of his friend and fellow painter, Don Alejo Vera. Luna's travels to various European countries prove to be the greatest factor that shaped and influenced his artistic skills and aesthetic sensibilities. Luna's most famous work, the Spoliarium also considered as his greatest work and masterpiece, won a gold medal in 1884 from the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in Madrid. The popular painting received various citations and praise from art lovers and critics alike. More so, the painting depicts the...
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