Sunday, October 12, 2008


*Your teacher erroneously attributed the “Spoliarium” to Felix Hidalgo. Juan Luna is the artist responsible for the said artwork.

Spoliarium, in 1884 won the gold medal at the Exposicion Nacional de Bellas Artes, held every three years in Madrid. The painting depicts defeated gladiators being dragged off into an unseen pit of corpses. A Roman scene on the surface, the painting also carries an allegorical message of the sufferings of Luna's fellow countrymen and women.
The word itself "Spoliarium" connotes the action of plundering, robbing, and despoiling. In ecclesiastical law, the word "spoliation" is the act of an incumbent who has resigned in taking the fruits of his benefice without right--an act parallel to the institutional and clerical abuse of power in the Philippines at the time.

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