Juan Luna y Novicio 

Si Juan Luna y Novicio ang unang Pilipino pintor na kinilala sa buong mundo, at naging isang aktibistang pampulitika sa kasagsagan ng Rebolusyong Pilipino noong huling bahagi ng ika-19 na siglo. Ipinanganak noong Oktubre 23, 1857 sa Badoc, Ilocos Norte, si Luna ang pangatlo sa pitong anak nina Joaquín Posadas Luna at Laureana Ancheta Novicio-Luna. Ang kanyang pagkahilig sa sining ay nagsimula nang makilala niya si Don Lorenzo Guerrero, na naging kanyang unang guro sa pagpipinta.

Sa edad na 20, umalis si Luna patungong Barcelona noong 1877, kasama ang kanyang kuya na si Manuel, na isang violinist. Pagdating doon, pumasok ang batang Luna sa Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando ngunit kaagad nagpasyang umalis upang magtrabaho naman para sa pintor na si Don Alejo Vera.


Ipinakilala ni Luna ang kanyang pangalan noong 1878, nang siya ay lumahok sa unang art exposition sa Madrid na tinawag na Exposicion Nacional de Bellas Artes. Mula noon, mas namulat si Luna sa pagpipinta at gumawa ng isang koleksyon na ipinakita niya noong 1881 Exposition. Ang kanyang pinakatanyag na obra na “Spoliarium” ay isinali niya sa Exposicion General de Bellas Artes noong 1884 sa Madrid, kung saan nanalo ito ng gintong medalya at iba pang pagkilala. Pagkatapos nito ay lumipat siya sa Paris noong 1885, kung saan binuksan niya ang kanyang sariling atelier (studio) kasama ang isa pang pintor na Pilipino, ang kanyang kaibigang si Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo. Dito natapos niya ang maraming trabaho, isa na ang obra na El Pacto de Sangre (The Blood Compact).


Si Luna ay ikinasal kay Maria de la Paz Pardo de Tavera noong Disyembre 4, 1886. Tumira sila sa loft ng kanyang studio sa Paris at nagkaroon ng isang anak na lalaki na si Andrés, at isang anak na babae na si Maria de la Paz, na namatay naman ng ipinanganak. Sa kasamaang palad, natapos ang kanilang pagsasama nang akusahan ni Luna si Paz na mayroon ibang karelasyon, na nauwi sa trahedya nang mabaril niya ang asawa at ang kanyang biyenan. Agad inaresto si Luna at sinampahan ng kasong pagpatay ngunit sa kalaunan ay pinalaya noong Pebrero 8, 1893, dahil sa batayan ng crime of passion.

Namatay si Luna noong Disyembre 7, 1899 sa Hong Kong dahil sa atake sa puso. Sa kasamaang palad, ilan sa kanyang mga gawa ay nasunog sa panahon ng World War II.


Juan Luna y Novicio was popularly known as the first internationally-recognized Filipino painter and a political activist of the Philippine Revolution during the late 19th century. Born on October 23, 1857 in Badoc, Ilocos Norte, Luna was the third among the seven children of Joaquín Posadas Luna and Laureana Ancheta Novicio-Luna. His passion for the arts began when he was recognized by Don Lorenzo Guerrero, which then became his first painting tutor.

At the age of 20, Luna left for Barcelona in 1877, together with his elder brother Manuel, who was a violinist. When they arrive, Juan entered the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando but decided to leave to pursue working for painter Don Alejo Vera.

Luna established his name in 1878, when he participated the opening of the first art exposition in Madrid, which was called the Exposicion Nacional de Bellas Artes. From then on, Luna became engrossed in painting and produced a collection that he exhibited in the 1881 Exposition. His most famous masterpiece “Spoliarium”, is a painting he entered in the Exposicion General de Bellas Artes in 1884 in Madrid, where it won a gold medal and other recognition. He then moved to Paris in 1885, where he opened his own atelier (studio) along with another Filipino painter, his friend Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo. Here, he finished a lot of his work, including the piece El Pacto de Sangre (The Blood Compact).

Luna was married to Maria de la Paz Pardo de Tavera in December 4, 1886. They lived in the loft of his studio in Paris and had one son named Andrés, and a daughter, Maria de la Paz, who died in infancy. Unfortunately, their marriage ended when Luna frequently accused Paz of having an affair that resulted in tragedy, killing Paz and his mother-in-law. He was immediately arrested and charged with murder but was eventually acquitted of charges on February 8, 1893, on the grounds of a crime of passion.

He died in December 7, 1899 in Hong Kong due to heart attack. Unfortunately, some of his paintings were destroyed by fire in World War II.

Photograph by: Édouard Fiorillo, 1885-1899
Photo Source: Frick Digital Collections
Colorized by: Bilog Bilugan

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