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Table of Contents
Juan Luna de San Pedro y Novicio Ancheta, more commonly known as Juan Luna, was one of the first internationally recognized Filipino painters. Aside from being an artist, Juan Luna was also an influential activist who actively participated in the Philippine Revolution during the late 19th century.
See the fact file below for more information on the Juan Luna or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Juan Luna worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Juan Luna was born on October 23, 1857, in the town of Badoc, Ilocos Norte, Philippines.
- He was the third of seven children of Joaquín Luna de San Pedro y Posadas and Laureana Novicio y Ancheta.
- In 1861, the Luna family moved to Manila. Juan Luna went to Ateneo Municipal de Manila, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree.
- He excelled in painting and drawing. His interest and passion for art were influenced by his brother, Manuel N. Luna. According to Filipino patriot José Rizal, Manuel was much better at painting than Juan.
- Later, Juan Luna enrolled at the Escuela Nautica de Manila (now called the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy) and became a sailor.
- However, becoming a sailor by profession did not stop Juan from giving free rein to his artistic passions and pursuits to perfect his skill and talent.
- He began taking lessons under the notable and influential painting teacher, Lorenzo Guerrero.
- He further entered the Academy of Fine Arts (Academia de Dibujo y Pintura) in Manila, where he was influenced and taught how to draw by Spanish artist Agustin Saez.
- Saez, however, was displeased by the vigorous brushstrokes of Luna and had him discharged from the academy.
- However, Guerrero was impressed by Juan’s skill and pushed Luna to travel to Madrid to further pursue his craft.
- Manuel and Juan Luna traveled to Europe in 1877. While Manuel studied music, Juan studied painting.
- Juan enrolled himself in the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando.
- Juan’s first major artistic achievement came in 1881, when his iconic and remarkable work, The Death of Cleopatra, won him a silver medal at the Exposicion Nacional de Bellas Artes.
- Following this, his work started to garner immense fame. Juan Luna was firmly established as a commercially successful and prolific artist.
- His unique skill in painting won him much favor with the King of Spain, who was an influential patron and also happened to be an art enthusiast.
- Juan became a regular contributor to the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes.
- In May 1884, at the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Juan Luna won a gold medal for his painting, Spoliarium, which depicts dying gladiators being stripped of weapons and garments in a Roman circus.
- The painter who won second place was Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, a fellow Filipino painter who painted Antiogue.
- Juan winning the gold medal and Hidalgo winning the silver prompted a celebration that was a significant highlight in the memoirs of members of the Propaganda Movement. Together with the fellow Ilustrados, they gave a toast to the two painters’ good health and to the brotherhood between Spain and the Philippines.
- Juan’s paintings are commonly described as being vigorous and dramatic, with elements of Romanticism that display the influence of Delacroix, Rembrandt, and Daumier.
- Juan Luna is generally considered the finest and most influential painter of the Philippines.
- His finest works include The Parisian Life, which depicts a young, pretty woman sitting on a sofa and three Filipino heroes (Jose Rizal, Juan Luna, and Ariston Bautista Lin) in the advent of the revolution. It was around this time that Luna accidentally killed his wife and his mother-in-law because of jealousy.
- Other famous works by Luna include La Batalla de Lepanto (The Battle of Lepanto), which depicts Don Juan of Austria (also known as Don John of Austria) in the Battle of Lepanto.
- El Pacto de Sangre (The Blood Compact) depicts the blood compact ceremony between the Datu Sikatuna, one of the lords on the island of Bohol, and Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.
- His paintings are showcased in some of the most prestigious museums in the Philippines, such as the National Museum and the Lopez Museum.
- Luna married María de la Paz Pardo de Tavera on December 4, 1886.
- The couple moved to Venice and Rome and settled in Paris. They had one son, named Andrés, and a daughter, Maria de la Paz, nicknamed Bibi, who died at the age of three.
- Luna was fond of his wife but accused her of having an affair with a certain Monsieur Dussaq.
- He then shot at a door that his wife was behind, killing his wife and mother-in-law and wounding his brother-in-law, on September 22, 1892.
- He was arrested, and murder charges were filed against him.
- Juan Luna was cleared of charges on February 8, 1893, on the grounds of a crime of passion. The “unwritten law” at the time forgave men for killing unfaithful wives.
- Luna traveled to Madrid along with his brother, Antonio Luna, and his son, Andrés, five days later.
FINAL YEARS AND DEATH
- Juan Luna went back to Manila in time for the explosion of the revolution against Spain. Unluckily, on September 16, 1896, he and his brother Antonio Luna were arrested by the Spanish officials and accused of organizing a revolution along with the Katipunan Secret Society.
- While in jail, Luna was still able to create a work of art entitled Ecce Homo.
- When Juan was released by the Spanish monarchy on May 27, 1897, and released from prison, he promptly went to Europe.
- Juan also played a role in the revolutionary government by accepting an appointment in 1898 by the executive board of the Philippine revolutionary government as a member of the Paris delegation working for the diplomatic recognition of the Philippine Republic.
- In 1899, upon the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1898), Juan Luna was selected as a member of the delegation to Washington, D.C., to press for the recognition of the Philippine government.
- He traveled back to the Philippines in December 1899, upon hearing of the assassination of his brother Antonio by the Kawit Battalion in Cabanatuan. However, he suffered a severe heart attack and died on December 7, 1899, in Hong Kong.
Juan Luna Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Juan Luna across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Juan Luna worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Juan Luna de San Pedro y Novicio Ancheta, more commonly known as Juan Luna, who was one of the first internationally recognized Filipino painters. Aside from being an artist, Juan Luna was also an influential activist who actively participated in the Philippine Revolution during the late 19th century.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Juan Luna Facts
- Quick Facts
- Juan Luna Biography
- Significant Dates
- Interesting Facts
- Family of Juan
- Notable Paints
- Luna’s Gallery
- Legacy of Juan Luna
- A Dark Controversy
- Our Influential Painter
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Use With Any Curriculum
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