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Juan Luna’s long lost masterpiece is making its debut. Here’s how you can see it for free

Juan Luna’s long lost masterpiece is making its debut. Here’s how you can see it for free

  • Regarded by many art collectors as “the holy grail of Philippine art,” Juan Luna’s “Hymen, oh Hyménée” is finally making its Philippine debut

Juan Luna’s long lost obra “Hymen oh, Hyménée” is finally making its Philippine debut through the exhibit “Splendor: Juan Luna, Painter as Hero.” The multimedia exhibit is curated by Ayala Museum with the cooperation of The León Gallery and will showcase the master’s long-lost work, as well as complementary exhibits that explore the artist’s life and works. 

In celebration of the 125th anniversary of our independence from Spain, Ayala Museum will be holding a free museum day that includes admission to the entire museum, including “Splendor.” Admissions are limited, and pre-registration is required so signing up as soon as possible is a good idea if you’re interested in attending.

The painting was last seen in Paris in the late 19th century, and is finally in the Philippines on display after 132 years. The work was presented during the 1889 Exposition de Universelle at the Galerie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, along with five other works by the master artist. 

The painting is thought to allude to his wedding to Paz Pardo de Tavera, who tragically died by his hand in 1892. He was later acquitted of his crimes. A video tour of the painting’s imagery narrated by historian Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo will also be made available on the Ayala Museum website. 

The multimedia exhibit will also showcase nine other exhibits, including a 21-minute documentary by Paris-based Filipino director Martin Arnaldo on the recovery of the artwork and its context, and a book of essays by Arnaldo, historian Ocampo, and Ayala Museum curators Ditas Samson, Tenten Mina, and Jei Ente. 

Aside from “Splendor,” you can also catch the museum’s other exhibits and attractions, such as the Filipinas Heritage Library and the newly opened Museya Kafé

The exhibit will run from June 12 to December 30, so there’s still lots of time to check it out if you can’t make it on Independence Day. 

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