January 21, 2010

Artistic temperament

We've all heard about how artists of all kinds can be very emotional and temperamental. It probably isn't true of many artists, but by all accounts, it was true of Juan Luna (October 23, 1857 – December 7, 1899), the painter of yesterday's Spoliarium. Born in the town of Badoc in the province of Ilocos Norte, Luna was discharged from one art school in Manila because he refused to follow what his teacher wanted, and he left another in Madrid because he didn't like their teaching style. He married Maria de la Paz Pardo de Tavera in 1886 and they settled in Paris. Only six years later, Luna, in a fit of jealousy, killed his wife and mother-in-law, and wounded his brother-in-law. This small sketch of Juan Luna hangs in the Luna and Hidalgo Gallery of the National Art Gallery, where the Spoliarium is also located. I now forget if this was a self-portrait or drawn by an artist friend. It was done in Rome in 1879, before the Spoliarium and before the marriage, and he does not yet have the handlebar mustache of his later portraits and photos.

Juan Luna

19 comments:

Jacob said...

Good grief! A loony-toon! But, that seems to be true, as you said, of some "artists." I'd say probably more than some. Yet out of their inner demons can come some powerful and dramatic work!

RJ said...

What a temperament! This is what Philippine History books have been missing. o",)

afv said...

I've always wondered what's in an artist mind, it must be so interesting to explore "the what might have beens" happening in the artist mind at a particular point in his/her life, like for instance what were the events leading up to Van Gogh's admission to an insane asylum?

Photo Cache said...

Obviously I didn't know him at all!

Thanks for the education. :)

Misalyn said...

Hmm this sounds interesting. I knew the Spolarium of Juan Luna pero hindi ko talaga alam yan different side of him.

Thanks for info Hilda. It reminded me to read some history books. Kinakalawang na ata ako hahaha.

Lily Hydrangea said...

Very interesting post Hilda.
I think there are crazy people in every profession, it's just a shame people do not get help before they hurt (or in this case, worse) other people!

Don and Krise said...

What an unbelievable talent, and yet what a temper he had. Some people say that most artists are eccentric. I think this goes a little beyond that.

Chuck Pefley said...

A tragic story.

VP said...

Another piece of the fascinating story of this artist. He followed the path of many rebels of its time in an even more tragic manner.

Cezar and Léia said...

A life of tragedy...
Thanks for this art history lesson dear Hilda!
hugs
Léia

Paty said...

very interesting story! i understande he was temperamental, but he fought for what he believed, so that´s ok!

the donG said...

im really guilty everytime somebody post about a museum. because ive never been to the national museum yet. something i should be doing.

Mo said...

Not a nice chap then

Frank said...

Very interesting background story on the artist. So many artists and writers have these almost unbelievable lifes. Sad. Tragic. Because or despite of the misery and horrors their work is great.

George said...

Thanks for the fascinating history contained in these last two posts. I have learned so much through your blog.

Halcyon said...

He looks like a cool fellow. He probably also had a way with the ladies. ;-)

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Very Nice Story about the artist Hilda !!Great

Kaori said...

Wow, that's some temper to have commited muder! He doesn't look so moody in the portrait though...I guess you never know! Great photo and story :)

Ebie said...

Oh Hilda, thank you for refreshing my Philippine History.