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October 27, 2002

MANILA, Oct. 27 — On October 27, 2002, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) purchased Juan Luna’s "Parisian Life" painting for P46 million at an auction in Hong Kong.

Luna made this 53×75-centimeter oil painting sometime in 1892, which interpreted as showing an unidentified Parisian lady and Filipino heroes Dr. Jose Rizal, Juan Luna and Dr. Ariston Bautista.

This Parisian Life is possibly the last major work of Luna considering that he traveled more often than painting during the latter years of his life, finishing only a handful of Philippines landscapes.

Luna was made known for his three masterpieces: the Spoliarium in 1884, El Batalla de Lepanto (1885), and Peuple et Rois (1889), which resulted in outstanding awards from the most prestigious international art competitions in Europe and America.

Spoliarium depicted the underground portion beneath the Colosseum theater in Rome where the fallen gladiators and wild beasts were dragged and allowed to die after their fierce and bloody encounters held to delight the Roman rulers and thousands of spectators. This is presently hanged at the Philippine National Museum and is considered a national treasure.

Because of Luna's popularity, King Alfonso of Spain commissioned him to paint El Batalla de Lepanto to hang in the halls of the Spanish Senate.

Peuple et Rois (Peoples and Kings), his last major work completed in 1889, was acclaimed the best entry to the Universal Exposition of St. Louis, U.S.A, which unfortunately was destroyed by fire during World War II.

Luna died in Hong Kong on his way back home on December 7, 1899. (PNA)


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