IA#4 Museum Visit 1 ✨

Last February 11, 2017, my friend and I went to the National Museum. So here are some of the pictures I took during our trip.

  1. SUNSET — This is a painting (oil on canvas) created by our National Artist for Painting , Fernando Amorsolo on 1959. I like this painting because it makes me think that it actually reflects the everyday scenerio that can be seen in the lives of the people living near the sea. Fishermen sail to catch fish in the dawn, and they’ll come back to sell the fishes in the morning while their families wait fkr them to return. Well, that’s my initial idea about that painting, however it’s not align with the title “Sunset" so it makes me think that maybe, it’s about a mother and child, waiting for someone — maybe the father, to comeback from a long journey.

2. SUPERSTITION — This oil on canvas painting created on 1982 is an artwork of Cesar Legaspi, one of our National Artist for Visual Artists. For me, this painting shows a man struggling with depression. I believe that he is a man having a tough life, to the point that he would already like to be burried in the ground (because in the painting you’ll see that the man looks like he’s a part of the land). The colors that the painter use are also very dull, which for me adds more value to the theme of the painting since it somehow depicts the challenges in one’s life that we need to overcome.

3. IMMORTALITY — This is an oil on canvas painting created on 1985. Emilio Aguilar Cruz’s painting catch my attention since the painting and the title itself, “Immortality” is quite interesting. What does the author wants to say? Is this a dead man who’s about to enter the doors of immortality? Is the man even dead? Actually for me, it looks like a man entering into a maze. The man also resembles the back of Rizal. The painting is mysterious, it conveys a lot of message but it’s up to you how you’ll interpret it.

4. This painting has no specific title but it is a part of the “Japanese Secret” collection of Juan Luna. As I was looking at this painting, the first thing that pops up to my mind is Simoun/Ibarra. The man is very mysterious, it also seems like he’s about to get revenge. I like that there are some part of the panel where there are several versions of the man which for me, represents the different disguise of the man. I also like that some versions are light-colored which I think symbolizes that the man also has good sides.

5. This is one of the first paintings that I saw when I entered the National Museum. This painting triggers a lot of emotions since it was a very dark, very devastating scenario. As a woman, rape is one of our greatest fear and to see your family die in front of you — that’s completely terrible and horrible thing to experience. I wonder if Diosdado Lorenzo, the painter, actually witnesses a rape and massacre scene? Because the painting is too real. Well, I think that his inspiration for this painting is the Japanese Era where “comfort women" is very popular. The clothes of the intruders could also be a sign that they are soldiers. I think 2 or more paintings of Diosdado Lorenzo that are exhibited in the museum are about rape and death. I think that’s actually his forte, the theme that he is most comfortable with. I just wonder why he chose to paint those kind of things— is it because he would like to raise awareness? Or does he know someone who’s been raped or who has been killed?

6. This “Graveyard Scene” is an artwork of Carlos Valino, Jr.. I think the painting portrays the aftermath of a war or a revolution. I’ve read in one article that “war is the greatest catastrophe that can befall human beings”. A lot of people die, especially the poor and innocent ones because they have no means to protect themselves. This painting raises awareness on how we should avoid war at all costs because it only brings death and destruction. Afterall, just like what they said “no one wins in a war”.

7. This “Rural Scene" painting of J. N. Encarnacion reminds me of my Lola’s house in Tobacco, Albay. Although our house there is already made of concrete, I still feel the same aura because from the window of our house in Albay you can actually see the Mayon Volcano. Just like in the painting, Lola’s house is located near the ricefields. That’s why I like this painting so much because it brings back my memories every summer when I get to visit my Lola and Lolo in Albay.

8. One of the most valuable painting inside the National Museum is Juan Luna’s oil on canvas painting “Spoliarium". This is my first time to see this painting and I’m actually amazed on how big it is. I think it is the biggest painting in that Museum and it shows a lot of emotions. I think it is a gladiator and crucifixion-like representation of the Philippines during the colonization period. Upon doing some research, I learned that “Spoliarium is Latin word referring to the basemement of the Roman Colosseum where the fallen and dying gladiators are dumped and devoid of their wordly possessions”. I would like to connect the meaning of Spoliarium to what the colonizers did to us — they oppressed us, make us feel like a second class citizen in our own country, then steal all our treasures. The painting makes me realized how talented and creative Luna is. There’s no doubt why he became so famous .