Rizal went to Paris and Germany to specialize in ophthalmology. He chose this branch because he wanted to cure his mother’s eyes. He served as assistant to the famous oculists of Europe. He also continued his travels and observations of European life and customs in Paris, Heidelberg, Leipzig and Berlin. In Berlin, capital of the unified Germany, he met and befriended several top scientists, Dr. Feodor Jagor, Dr. Adolph B. Meyer, Dr. Hans Meyer, and Dr. Rudolph Virchow. His merits as a scientist were recognized by the eminent scientist of Europe.
IN GAY PARIS (1885-1886)
Rizal then was 24 years old and already a physician, decided to go to Paris in order to acquire more knowledge in ophthalmology. On his way to Paris, he stopped at Barcelona to visit his friend, Maximo Viola, a medical student and a member of a rich family of San Miguel, Bulacan. He stayed for a week, during which time he befriended Senor Eusebio Corominas, editor of the newspaper La Publicidad and made a crayon sketch of Don Miguel Morayta, owner of La Publicidad and a statesman. He gave editor Corominas an article on the Carolines Question for publication. On October, 1885, Rizal was living in Paris, where he sojourned for about four months. He worked as an assistant to Dr. Louis de Weckert, leading French ophthalmologist. Outside his working days at Dr. Weckert’s clinic, he relaxed visiting the home of Pardo de Taveras and the studio of his friend, Juan Luna. At the studio of Luna, Rizal spent many happy hours. He discussed with Luna, the great master of the brush, various problems on art and improved his own painting technique. He helped Luna by posing as model in several paintings. In Luna’s canvas “The Death of Cleopatra”, Rizal posed as an Egyptian priest. In another of Luna’s great paintings, “the blood compact”, Rizal posed as Sikatuna, with Dr. Trinidad Pardo de Tavera taking the role of Legaspi.
In the art studio of Juan Luna in Paris