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Spoliarium by Juan Luna

oil on poplar
400 × 700 cm

The Spoliarium measures four meters in height and seven meters in width. The canvas
depicts a chamber beneath a Roman arena, where bodies of dead gladiators are being
dragged into a shadowy area, presumably to be put in a bigger pile of dead bodies.

Spoliarium was painted in a very large canvas and is more or less life size. His painting
portrays defeated gladiators in the arena being dragged into a pile of other corpses. On
the left side, there are many spectators viewing the spectacle with a variety of
expressions, while on the far right side of the painting is a grieving woman in torn and
shabby clothing. Horizontal lines are seen in the walls and the people watching the
scene. But diagonal lines that denote movement are very obvious and can be seen in
the gladiators’ slain bodies, in the men dragging them and in the floor tiles. There is
dominant use of contour lines as shown in the muscles of the arms, legs and backs of
the gladiators. In the use of color, there is a governing use of red, mostly seen in the
center, that is one of the first things to attract the attention of the viewer. The use of
green on the weeping lady's dress creates contrast against the gladiators’ red dresses.
The intensity of the color red is very overwhelming. Almost all of the colors used are
warm colors, which is thought to be intentional on the part of the artist. Luna has been
known to use colors not simply for reasons of aesthetics but also for their symbolic
“Mother and Child”
Napoleon Abueva
Medium: Bronze

Napoleon Abueva’s “Mother and Child”

shows a figure of an adult hugging a
child. The human figures are
discernible but the genders are not. It is
only the title of the work that indicates
that it is depiction of a mother and

The image appears heavy because of

the material: adobe. It gives the
sculpture stability. However, slanting
lines of the legs and the arms of the
mother and the tilted body of the baby
give the stone movement. It is heavy
but graceful at the same time.

The archetype of the mother as

nurturer is present in different religious
traditions. Christian iconography is
replete with images of the Virgin Mary
and the Child Jesus. The nurturing by
the Mother is an intimation of the
Divine: the Mother is the creator. At the
same time, the mother is the
representative of THE Creator, tasked
with caring for the hapless infant.
“The Doomed Family”
Dominador Castañeda
Oil on canvas

Dominador Castaneda’s
work, entitled Doomed
Family is of a different
intensity but harrowing as
well. Done in 1945, this oil
on canvas has the feel of a
silent scream. A mother lays
dead; her long hair on the
floor simulates blood. A
lifeless father is bound in
rope, his bloodied back
mercilessly whipped. A child,
still alive and tied, has her
mouth open emitting
perhaps a frightened
helpless wail. One cannot
tell if they are depicted in a
home or in a cell. Their
doom in the dark is the only
"Amihan" by Solomon Saprid
Size: 14.75" x 11" x 10"
Medium: Brass

This piece is part of Saprid's Award-winning

Amihan Series. It features the perfectly-
proportioned figure of a woman playing with a flute.
One of the last that he did at the end of the 1980s.
His more recent works focus on movement and the
interaction of, in his words, the "positive and
negative" making his current figures more fluid and

“Mother’s Revenge” by Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal
Medium: Clay

Rizal was inspired to create the

sculpture by an incident that occurred
while he was in Dapitan, where he was
deported and set up a school, in 1894.
Some of his students secretly went to
Dapitan in a boat from Talisay and a
puppy of Rizal's dog Syria tried to follow
them and was eaten by a crocodile.
Rizal scolded the boys, telling them that
if they had not gone to town without his
permission the puppy would not have
died and its mother would have been
spared the sorrow of losing an offspring.
He further stressed the moral of the
incident by making a statuette showing
the mother dog killing the crocodile, to
avenge her lost puppy. He called this
“The Mother’s Revenge.”
Portrait of President Manuel Roxas
Fernando Amorsolo, 1950
oil on canvas
114.2 x 89 cm

The postcard
shows the portrait of
President M anuel Roxas,
probably his official portrait
hung on the walls of the
Reception Hall in
Most of the official portraits
were painted by
Fernando Amorsolo,
Garcia Llamas and other noted artists.

Manuel Acuña Roxas, the first president of the new republic, was born on January 1,
1892 in Capiz (now Roxas City). In 1913, Roxas obtained his law degree at U.P. and
graduated class valedictorian. He became the first ever bar topnotcher of the country
with a grade of 92%.He was the governor of the province from 1919-1922. He was later
elected to the Philippine House of Representatives in 1922 and was was elected in 1941
to the Philippine Senate, but was unable to serve until 1945 because of the outbreak of
World War II. In the Philippine national elections of 1946, Roxas ran for president as the
nominee of the liberal wing of the Nacionalista Party and won the position.
Unang Misa
Carlos “Botong” Francisco

This mural shows the first mass in the

Philippines led by Fr. Valderrama with
Ferdinand Magellan, Pigafetta, soldiers
and the natives who were amazed by the

This is a great example of a masterpiece

about our nation’s history. This artwork is
commissioned by the government for the
celebration of the 400th year of
Christianism in the Philippines that
happened in Cebu on 1965.

Pagluluklok ng Krus
Vicente S. Manansala

This painting shows the enthronement of the

cross in Cebu which happened on 1521.
Magellan leads this event, together with the
Spanish soldiers and some natives with a
tattoo (pintados). The original cross is
currently located in a kiosk at the front of the
Basilica Minore of the Sto. Niño in Cebu.
This mural is one of the best examples of the
historical artwork collection of the National

Manansala’s art are the combination of

traditional and modern style in the field of
paint. Transparent cubism was also
emphasized in this artwork.